Sixty thousand people from around the world signed a petition from StandWIthUS opposing UNESCO’s declaration that there is no connection between the Jewish nation and the Western Wall and Temple Mount.
StandWithUs is an international non-profit dedicated to informing the public about Israel and to combating extremism and anti-Semitism.
20,000 people signed the petition in April, after the decision to have the declaration was first made, but after last week’s declaration, the number of signatures jumped to 60,000.
The petition calls on UNESCO to recognize the Jewish nation’s history. It also declares that UNESCO’s decisions are entirely politically motivated and ignore basic human rights and facts.
Attorney Yifat Segal, who runs the International Legal Forum said, “UNESCO’s denial of the connection between Jews and Jerusalem is in violation of UNESCO’s own mandate not to erase the traditions of millions or to violate anyone’s religious or cultural rights.
We believe that the Temple Mount, which is holy to several religions, can be an example of UNESCO’s principle of accepting and honoring others, as well as uniting nations. Instead, UNESCO has decided to erase and segregate those with differing beliefs and narratives.”
The First and Second Holy Temples were built by Jews on the Temple Mount thousands of years ago, and all Jews are commanded in the Bible to come to the Temple Mount at least three times a year to celebrate the main festivals together. Until their destruction in 586 B.C.E. and 70 A.D. respectively, the Temples were the center of Jewish spiritual life.
The Western Wall, an outer wall of the Second Temple compound, is the only vestige of its construction. The Arab Wakf does not allow excavations on the Mount, which might uncover much more, and has purposefully set about destroying whatever archaeological remains it can.