UNESCO Resolution a "Full-Blown Assault on Jewish History and the Jewish People"

October 13, 2016

Media Statement

Canadian Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center is encouraging the Government of Canada and the Canadian Commission to UNESCO to denounce today's UNESCO resolution which claims the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is sacred only to Muslims, while failing to mention its historic and religious significance to Judaism. According to reports "an entire section of the proposal dedicated specifically to the Temple Mount complex refers only to the site's Muslim names and fails to mention its Hebrew or English names (Har HaBayit or Temple Mount). UNESCO's tagline on its website is "building peace in the minds of men and women." However, resolutions of this nature are politicized and agenda driven; denying the Jewish connection to its most sacred site cannot pave the way for peace. According to Rabbi Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, this was a "full-blown assault on Jewish history and the rights of the Jewish people, and it's something that we're going to have to do our best to combat and make sure that this false narrative isn't allowed to gain further traction around the world. I think this is one of those situations in which all Jewish groups have to join with the State of Israel in ensuring that the truth gets out." The resolution was denounced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and was equally condemned by the State of Israel and the White House.

UPDATE - October 14, 2016

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Dion condemned the UNESCO resolution which denies Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, tweeting, "Deeply disappointed @UNESCO World Heritage Committee decision ignoring link of holy sites to  #Judaism in #Jerusalem" -  @Stéphane Dion @MinCanadaFA.

A similar tweet was provided by MP Michael Levitt: "Deeply troubled by divisive-politicized vote at #UNESCO denying Judeo-Christian recognition in #Jerusalem.No vote can erase history #cdnpoli -  @LevittMichael


Stacey L. Starkman 
Director of Communications & External Relations 
416.864.9735 x 32 - office / sstarkman@fswc.ca 
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is a leading Canadian non-profit human rights foundation directly representing over 30,000 members. FSWC is committed to countering racism and antisemitism and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and educational programs including workshops, Freedom Day, the Spirit of Hope Benefit, Tools for Tolerance and the widely acclaimed new Tour for Humanity. FSWC is affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization headquartered in Los Angeles, which has won two Academy Awards, has built two Museums of Tolerance (with a third being built in Jerusalem) and is an NGO at the United Nations, UNESCO, OAS, OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament. Visit us at www.fswc.ca
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