Ne­tanyahu plans Jewish history les­son for UN

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

JERUSALEM—Is­rael’s premier said he would host a lec­ture on Jewish history for UN staff, fol­low­ing a res­o­lu­tion of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s cul­tural body “deny­ing” Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s holi­est site.

UNESCO’s ex­ec­u­tive board last month adopted a res­o­lu­tion con­demn­ing “Is­raeli ag­gres­sions and il­le­gal mea­sures against the free­dom of wor­ship and Mus­lims’ ac­cess to their Holy Site Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif,” fail­ing to men­tion the site’s Jewish name of the Tem­ple Mount.

Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu had at­tacked the “ab­surd” res­o­lu­tion which “ig­nores the unique his­toric con­nec­tion of Ju­daism to the Tem­ple Mount, where the two tem­ples stood for a thou­sand years and to which ev­ery Jew in the world has prayed for thou­sands of years”. On Fri­day, he re­it­er­ated that he was “shocked” UNESCO would adopt “a de­ci­sion deny­ing any Jewish con­nec­tion to the Tem­ple Mount, our holi­est site”. “That is why to­day I am an­nounc­ing a sem­i­nar on Jewish history for all UN per­son­nel in Is­rael,” he said in a state­ment.

“I will per­son­ally host the lec­ture at the prime min­is­ter’s Of­fice,” said Ne­tanyahu, the son of a his­to­rian, not­ing that it will be de­liv­ered by a “lead­ing scholar of Jewish history”.

Diplo­mats will also be in­vited, “in­clud­ing of coun­tries which voted for this out­ra­geous de­ci­sion”, Ne­tanyahu said of the res­o­lu­tion on “Oc­cu­pied Pales­tine” pre­sented by sev­eral Arab states.

Af­ter Is­rael’s re­ac­tion to the res­o­lu­tion, UNESCO chief Irina Bokova is­sued a state­ment stress­ing that “Jerusalem is a Holy Land of the three monothe­is­tic re­li­gions, a place of di­a­logue for all Jewish, Chris­tian and Mus­lim peo­ple”. Ne­tanyahu’s spokesman David Keyes said that deny­ing the Jewish peo­ple’s con­nec­tion to the site “isn’t only ahis­tor­i­cal. It ac­tu­ally makes peace harder to achieve.”

“Peace is forged through re­spect and un­der­stand­ing. This shows nei­ther,” Keyes said. The com­pound in east Jerusalem, which was taken by Is­rael in the 1967 Six-Day War and later an­nexed in a move not recog­nised in­ter­na­tion­ally, has long been a flash­point in the Is­raeli-Pales­tinian con­flict.

It has seen fre­quent clashes over fears that Is­rael is plan­ning to change the rules which cur­rently state that Mus­lims can pray there, while Jews can only visit. Ne­tanyahu de­nies seek­ing to change the sta­tus quo. Bib­li­cal tra­di­tion says the first and sec­ond Jewish tem­ples were at the site be­fore be­ing de­stroyed by the Baby­lo­ni­ans and Ro­mans re­spec­tively.—Agen­cies mag­a­zine re­ported on Satur­day.

Berlin will give Amman 25 mil­lion eu­ros ($28 mil­lion) to buy “Marder” ar­mored per­son­nel car­ri­ers, Spiegel said with­out giv­ing sources. Tu­nisia would get a double-digit mil­lion sum. Jor­dan neigh­bors Syria where Is­lamic State has taken large por­tions of ter­ri­tory.—Age­nies

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