Consul General of Israel in New York, Ambassador Dani Dayan, ripped the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Thursday as a bunch of “ignorant, evil” people for approving a resolution he says denies Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
Dayan made the comments as he was being honored along with NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill by the New York Board of Rabbis at a Sukkot celebration commonly known among Christians as the Feast of Tabernacles, at the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue in New York City.
“We spoke a lot about Sukkot and I want to pinpoint, focus on another characteristic of Sukkot. Sukkot in Jewish tradition was one of the three Regalim. Regalim meaning three days in the year…in which the whole community, every single Israelite, every single Jew in the land of Israel in the ancient times, would leave his occupation, leave his work, leave his job, leave his farm or whatever he did and ascended, to Jerusalem to the [Temple] Mount to praise God,” said the ambassador who was noted as a confidante of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.
“It’s very frustrating that exactly one week before we celebrated Sukkot, an international body, UNESCO, dared to adopt a resolution saying that Israel, the Jewish people, Judaism doesn’t have any connection with the Temple Mount,” he said. “An international body governed by a bunch of ignorant, a bunch of evil persons.”
UNESCO’s executive board approved the resolution on Tuesday after a draft form of the resolution had been approved by a commission last Thursday and the move has angered Jews around the world according to The New York Times.
The resolution, titled “Occupied Palestine,” lays out rules about the preservation of holy sites in Jerusalem, and uses only the Islamic name for the hilltop compound both Jews and Muslims deem sacred. The site includes the Western Wall, a remnant of the biblical temple and the holiest site where Jews can pray says the Times.
Jews refer to the hilltop compound in Jerusalem’s Old City as the Temple Mount while Muslims refer to it as al-Haram al-Sharif, Arabic for the Noble Sanctuary. It includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock. It is the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
The board adopted the resolution by consensus Tuesday at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters.
A release to The Christian Post on Thursday said leaders of the World Jewish Congress also addressed a group of 3,000 evangelical Christians from around the world in Jerusalem and thanked them for standing with the people of Israel.
Making reference to the recent decision by UNESCO, in a video message WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said: “A long time ago, God made a promise to the Jewish people. God gave them this land. God took Moses up to the heights of the Judean Hills and showed him the land from top to bottom, North to South, East to West. How do we know this? We read it in the Bible. It’s all right there in Deuteronomy.
“God showed Moses this land, and he made a promise that this land was for the Jewish people. You can argue with governments about this. You can argue with the United Nations. But who is so vain that they will argue with God?”
Pointing to the Holocaust, he added: “Jews learned what happens when the world is silent. We learned that lesson the hard way. And we will never be silent again.”
The United States was one of six countries to stand against the UNESCO resolution and Dayan was quick to point that out to the gathering at the Sukkah in New York City on Thursday.
“I want to thank this country. I want to thank the administration, I want to thank the president, I want to thank the State Department for the fact that the United States of America has been one of the only six countries in the world that made the right thing. That took the moral decision that made justice to this story and voted against this obscene resolution. They are trying to erase the connection with Israel, the Jewish people and its most sacred place for 3,000 years,” he said.