October 13, 2016, New York, NY - - Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations today denounced the decision by UNESCO’s Executive Board which, once again, erased the indisputable historical connection of Jews, Christians and faith traditions other than Islam to holy sites in Jerusalem.

Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents said, “At the last session of UNESCO’s Executive Board, the Palestinians mustered an immoral majority of member countries to vote in favor of an outrageous resolution ignoring indisputable historical facts and denying the connection of faiths other than Islam to key holy sites in Jerusalem.  Today, with only 24 of the 58 members voting in favor, 26 abstaining.  Once again the United States was joined by five other countries voting against,

At a time when so many archaeological discoveries reaffirm the historical Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the sanctity and security of the holy places of all religions has been reestablished after decades of neglect and discrimination between 1948 and 1967, these results simply ignore facts and deny reality. 

We thank the U.S. for their leadership opposing these discriminatory resolutions and deeply regret that France, Argentina, and others still did not vote against the resolution, even though they abstained.

This is a moral issue.  There can be no equivocation.

During our meetings last month with world leaders at the opening of the current session of the UN General Assembly, many expressed regret over the original resolution and agreed that denigrating Jewish and Christian history and religious traditions were both outrageous and unfounded. We would have expected many more members of the Executive Board to cast votes against the resolution adopted today to prevent compounding the travesty of these blatantly discriminatory measures.”

Mr. Hoenlein, who is currently in Israel, added, “I just visited the areas around the Temple Mount and City of David where every shovel in the ground uncovers the historical truths and affirms the obscenity of the UNESCO resolutions. People of all religions should have access to the holy sites of their faith while safety and security is maintained. When one sees the evidence of 3000 years of Jewish connection to Jerusalem, since king David made it the capital of the Jewish nation, the undeniable proof and the massive tangible archaeological evidence make these resolutions all the more insulting, intellectually dishonest and biased to the core.”


The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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