Feb. 9, 2018
- At a meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation last December, Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, said that Jews are really excellent at faking and counterfeiting history and religion. I was struck by that because I refuse to assault the principles of their faith. They can say whatever they want about their faith as long as they don’t try and assault my faith. Part of the tragedy of the current period is this overall assault on the connections between Israel, the Jewish people, and Jerusalem.
- In October 2016, UNESCO asserted that the Temple Mount was connected to Islam, but it refused to acknowledge any Jewish connection whatsoever – or for that matter any Christian connection – to the Temple Mount. In the resolution adopted in Paris, it used only the Islamic term for the Temple Mount – Haram al-Sharif, but the actual terminology “Temple Mount,” which had been used by international organizations for years, suddenly vanished. A few months later in December 2016, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2334 which called the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount “occupied Palestinian territory.”
- The entire international community met together after World War I and said the Jews have a right to reconstitute their ancient homeland. That ought to be worth something. Israel is the only country in the international system whose historical rights were confirmed by both the League of Nations and the United Nations. To completely dismiss the rights of Israel is to dismiss how our rights have been understood by the international community for more than a century.
- The cardinal question is who is going to protect Jerusalem in the future. Will it be national movements that doubt the legitimacy of various faiths’ connections to Jerusalem, or will it be national movements that understand that there are other national groups that have connections to Jerusalem. If Jerusalem is important to people, if freedom of religious expression is important to people, then only a free and democratic Israel will protect Jerusalem for all the great faiths.
Amb. Dore Gold, President of the Jerusalem Center, spoke at the Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum at the University of Cambridge in England on Jan. 21, 2018.
(Click on the article’s title to see the video…Ed.)