United Nations and Jerusalem
By Miriam Lottner
It seems hard to believe that the United Nation succeeed in their attempt to invalidate the connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem or the Temple Mount, but they seem to never stop doing exactly that.
Several times in the last decade, the discussion over Jerusalem has been hijacked by illegitimate claims and the distortion of facts. Passing resolutions declaring that the Temple Mount never held the Holy First or Second Temple, or changing the name of Jerusalem or the Western Wall of the Holy Temple compound as it has been known for thousands of years, there is little resistance that could turn the tide of antisemitic attacks against thousands of years of Jewish history.
That explicit evidence of the presence of the Temple - from oil vessels, golden articles, purification channels, writing, architectural elements - have been found means little. The claims of "Jewish manipulation" - that the archaological or literary evidence is fabricated, not authenticated - are themselves based on antisemitic tropes. But their efforts to deceive the public continues to be successful, perhaps because there is so little resistance.
No matter how much Israel tries to fight for truth in the United Nations, in a den of lies, the United Nations continues its attempts to single out Israel as another method of dehumanizing Jewish rights, and wiping the Jews out from 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. 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 the United Nations or any other nation or religious group to know or respect them either.
The Palestinian Authority has spent 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 nd refuses to take them down, we still remain largely silent.
Because, Jerusalem... 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 the story of the destruction of the Temple is displayed as the historical facts that prove Jewish Jerusalem and Jewish Judea and Jewish Israel long before the term "Palestine" was enforced as its name of reference.
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? What are we doing in our homes, with our children, our friends, our peers to take small actions to make a difference?
The more we know, the more we talk, the more we make it relevant. Because it isn't easy for many to grasp how we could take on the fight against the United Nations any more than we know how to fight the antisemites that are emerging from every corner around the world.
The more we have resources at our fingertips, the more games we play to keep it engaging, the more we can inspire each other to do something more in our daily lives, in our armchair activism on social media, in the hearts and minds of our fellow Jews and our non-Jewish friends around the world.
It isn't only about whether we support Israel, or this policy or that government. No, it is about whether or not we believe that we, today, have a role in the long history of our people. For what will be remembered in the future, if the United Nations has a say and no one counters it?
Think about it. And then do something.
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