UNESCO and Jerusalem
by Miriam Lottner
It seems hard to believe that UNESCO could attempt to invalidate the connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem or the Temple Mount, but they attempted exactly that.
They have used their international stature to pass a resolution declaring that the Temple Mount never held the Holy First or Second Temple. UNESCO has declared that that thousands of years of Jewish history never were. That explicit evidence of the presence of the Temple (from oil vessels, golden articles, purification channels, writing, architectural elements) have been fabricated, or not authenticated or not found. Ridiculous? Impossible?
Yes, but true. UNESCO has attempted to wipe us from our own history.
One might ask themselves how can this happen? How can a society, a world, deny the thing that is right in front of them. We (the world) call it the Temple Mount (because it is the mountain on which the Great Temples of Jerusalem stood). Why would thousands of years of pilgrims, explorers and archaeologists bother calling it that, if it wasn't that?
More importantly, Jews have been praying, have been connected, have been always present since the destruction of the Temple -thousands of years ago. Even though exiled, it is a part of every morning, afternoon and evening prayer, the location of thousands of years of pilgrimages and yearnings. Jerusalem is in fact, the very essence of our nationhood.
Putting aside our biblical and historical claims and all of the evidence stacked firmly in our favor, lets understand what the real issue is here.
How can the world be blind to Israel and her history? Israel, the nation which was exiled after the destruction of the Temple and wandered for thousands of years....from nation to nation -exiled from Jerusalem, burned from Spain, decimated in the Holocaust...
The simple answer is that they are blind, because we haven't taught them any different.
The large golden Dome of the Rock, built on top of the Temple Mount seems to be the only structure that people notice. Large and flashy -who cares about the pile of rubble and rocks underneath? An ancient wall and the hint of the Temple it protected can't compete for attention with a shiny golden dome in 2016. Or can it?
In an age when sound bites, and flash and controversy garner all the attention -no wonder UNESCO bought the narrative of the Palestinian Authority. We somehow forgot the importance of offering our own. We've been so embroiled fighting over who and how the Kotel gets used -we managed at least in the eyes of the world to lose our rights to it entirely.
While Israelis are the people of the book, we are not out proselytizing. That is not our way. Has never been our way. But while not proselytizing, we should be out educating and teaching. We should care about Jerusalem. We should learn our own history and understand what Jerusalem is and it's connection to the Jewish people. We should teach our children of the importance of Jerusalem to our history and our future.
While meeting with Jewish organizations and museums and communities for Reveal Israel, I have heard too many times that "Israel isn't our focus." "Or, we are Jewish but don't really have an Israel connection. This game isn't right for us."
Jewish prayer is all based on the Temple Service. The First and Second Temples that stood on the Temple Mount. There would be no need for Jewish prayer or a synagogue as we know it today had the First and Second Temples (the original synagogue) not stood.
It was because of this lack of understanding and education about Israel and Jerusalem that we created Reveal Israel. We aim to help anyone learn more about Israel and the history of the Jewish people in the land of Israel. Because when we don't teach our own children about those connections -when you try to deny or circumvent them -we can't expect UNESCO or any other nation or religious group to know or respect them either.
The Palestinian Authority has spent the last 60 years re-writing history. To any and all that would listen, they made outrageous claims -so outrageous, most times we laughed at just the how silly they were and didn't bother to refute them. When Facebook allows fringe pages glorifying murder and the destruction of Israel -and refuses to take them down, we still remain largely silent.
Because, Jerusalem. I mean really. Everyone knows Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people -right? Who could believe a group that would deny the Torah, the Bible, and everything we know about modern civilization. One look at the Titus Arch in Rome and we know the story of the destruction of the Temple is historical fact...
And yet here we are.
UNESCO has now denied Jewish history. They have attempted to sever the connection between the Jewish people and our heart, Jerusalem.
The only question that now remains is what will you chose do about it?
Miriam Lottner is the proud mother of twin girls, and the creator and founder of Reveal Cards. After making Aliyah from Los Angeles, Miriam spent the next 20 years working in senior roles in Israel's hi-tech sector. She is now a frequent public speaker, mentor, business consultant and advocate for women in technology. An avid photographer, Miriam loves to explore and makes sure to schedule travel adventures somewhere in Israel at least once a week.
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