Jewish Members of Congress Denounce UNESCO resolution denying Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem

Press Release

Date: Oct. 20, 2016
Location: Washington, DC

Today, U.S. Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY), Sandy Levin (D-MI), David Cicilline (D-RI), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Susan Davis (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Steve Israel (D-NY), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Jared Polis (D-CO), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), John Yarmuth (D-KY), and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) issued the following joint, bipartisan statement in response to UNESCO resolution denying Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem:

"As Jewish Members of the United States House of Representatives, we strongly condemn any effort to blatantly disregard the religious histories of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. That is why we fervently denounce the efforts of certain Member-States of UNESCO to continue denying Jewish and Christian claims to holy sites in Jerusalem, which have irrefutable historic significance for both religions.

"UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova stated that "Jerusalem is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam." Yet the resolution adopted yesterday blatantly denies Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall by referring to them only as Muslim holy sites or by their Muslim names. "Such brazen disrespect and failure to recognize the legitimacy of Jewish existence in the ancient Jewish homeland only serves to distort history, inflame tensions, and impede peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

"We commend the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Lithuania, and Estonia for voting against and the 26 countries that abstained from supporting such a biased and counterproductive resolution."