ADL Welcomes UNESCO Director’s Condemnation of Attempts to Deny Jewish Connection to Jerusalem

New York, NY, July 15, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed today’s statement by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who condemned attempts to deny the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

At UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, currently meeting in Istanbul, a draft resolution on the Old City of Jerusalem is being negotiated. A similar resolution in April by UNESCO’s Executive Board condemned Israel for alleged “Jewish fake graves” on the Temple Mount, called the Temple Mount/Holy Sanctuary solely by its Muslim name, and referred to the Western Wall Plaza in quotation marks, after using its Muslim name.

“We welcome Director-General Bokova’s unequivocal statement against politicized actions of member states of the World Heritage Committee to deny the Jewish connection to Jerusalem,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “We hope her warning will be heeded by responsible governments, whose representatives sit on the committee, and that they will prevent any resolutions that will distress Jews around the world and mar UNESCO’s reputation.”

In April, France and Brazil expressed regret for their votes. ADL expressed hope that the other nations will not make that mistake again.

On July, 11 the League wrote to Director-General Bokova to urge her to use “the moral voice of your office to protect the integrity of Jerusalem as a holy city to the three monotheistic religions.”