UNESCO’s draft resolution passed Thursday called Israel an “occupying power” in its own capital Jerusalem and recast as Moslem shrines the revered sites of the two Jewish holy temples, renaming them Al Aqsa Mosque for Temple Mount and Al Buraq for the Western Wall. The vote was 24:6 with 26 abstentions. Israel was required to rescind its control over access to “Al Aqsa Mosque.”
Joining Israel’s outrage, dozens of US lawmakers petitioned the UN body in advance to abandon the resolution as an attempt to rewrite history by expunging the Jewish and Christian roots in the city and its shrines.
Hours after the vote, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump weighed in by calling the move a “one-sided attempt to ignore Israel’s 3,000-year bond to its capital city” and “further evidence of the enormous anti-Israel bias” at the United Nations. “Jerusalem is the enduring capital of the Jewish People and the overwhelming majority of Congress has voted to recognize Jerusalem as just that,” he said in a statement published in Facebook.
Trump pledged if elected that the US would recognize Jerusalem as “the one true capital of Israel” and that “Israel will have a true, loyal and lasting friend in the United States of America.”
The only votes against the Arab-initiated resolution were cast by the US, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Germany and Estonia. France, Italy, Greece and India wee among the abstainers. Russia and China went with the majority.