October 20, 2016
Dear Friend of Israel
UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, was formed in 1945 in a world that had just been torn apart by a devastating war. It was founded with worthy aspirations: to foster peace and respect for human rights through the promotion of education, science, and culture.
Somewhere along the line, UNESCO lost its way. Like its parent organization, it became dominated by countries that showed no respect for peace or human rights, and that displayed an overwhelming hatred toward one particular nation: Israel.
This hatred was displayed again recently, when UNESCO passed an absurd resolution denying the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem. By adopting this resolution, UNESCO denies what all Christians and Jews, and all people with any knowledge of history, know already: Jewish claims to a home in the Holy Land, and to Jewish holy sites located there, have an irrefutable biblical, historical, and political basis.
First and foremost is the biblical claim that God promised the land to Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 13:15). Second, there has been an uninterrupted Jewish presence in the Holy Land for thousands of years. Third, numerous international agreements and resolutions have conferred political and legal legitimacy on the Jewish state. And finally, there is the fact that Jews, through vast amounts of hard work and ingenuity, made Israel the vibrant, successful, productive nation that it is today.
By denying Judaism’s claim to these sites, UNESCO violates the very principles of religious tolerance and pluralism that the organization professes to champion. It also supports a radical Islamist agenda that states Jews have no legitimate claim to these sites – the resolution refers to Israel as “the occupying Power” and references Israeli “escalating aggressions,” with no reference to Arab terrorism. It fosters a culture of hatred against and misinformation about Israel, and makes peace that much more difficult to attain.
This appalling and biased resolution must be challenged. Today, I ask you to sign our petition demanding that UNESCO repeal it, and forward the petition to your friends, family, and church members. By doing so, you’ll be adding more voices to the vast chorus of freedom-loving people who recognize Israel for what it is: a bastion of democracy in the midst of the tyrannical regimes of the Middle East.
Israel needs our prayers now more than ever, so please act today. And continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and for the day when UNESCO, the United Nations, and the entire world will treat Israel as a full and equal member of the community of nations.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President