Press Release

ADL Says UNESCO “Manufactures History” with False Depiction of Jerusalem and Holy Sites

New York, NY, October 26, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for “manufacturing history” with yet another resolution seeking to erase the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the holy sites.

The resolution, entitled “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls,” also included a long litany of biased accusations against Israel. The resolution was voted on and approved by secret ballot, with 10 voting in favor, eight opposed, two abstentions and one delegate, from Jamaica, absent.

Similar to prior resolutions passed by UNESCO political bodies, including the resolution passed on October 13 by the Executive Board, the new resolution refers to the Temple Mount/Holy Sanctuary solely as “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif,” and includes numerous highly politicized allegations and false charges against Israel. Unlike the resolution passed earlier this month, it does not mention Jerusalem’s importance to the three monotheistic religions.

Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair, and Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO issued the following statement:

Once again, a UNESCO body has made itself complicit with a perverse Palestinian campaign to manufacture a history that does not include Jews in the Holy Land.

Charged with protecting and implementing the World Heritage Convention, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has endorsed a false depiction of one of the world’s most ancient holy sites.  To ignore or deny the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount is to ignore or deny what makes Jerusalem so holy and resonant for the world, including the Christian community.  

It is important to note that 11 out of 21 member states did not vote in favor of this resolution, either through opposition, abstention or their absence. We further note the important statements of past weeks by international leaders who have opposed these resolutions, including UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

On October 20, ADL wrote to members of the World Heritage Committee, calling on them to vote against “this highly political and dangerous degradation of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.”