The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday officially passed its resolution denying any Jewish connection to Jerusalem and its holy sites, including the Temple Mount.
Although some Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office, said there had been some improvement in the language, the new resolution continues to ignore the Jewish relation to the Temple Mount, where Jews believe the First and Second Temples were built and destroyed.
The US representative to UNESCO said the item should have been defeated as it damaged the reputation of the organization. The Palestinian-drafted UNESCO resolution only referred to the site as Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif and declared that it belonged to Muslims while referring to Israeli sites as "so-called".
UNESCO chief Irina Bokova distanced herself from that resolution, saying in a statement that "nowhere more than in Jerusalem do Jewish, Christian and Muslim heritage and traditions share space".
In a secret ballot, 10 countries voted in favour of the resolution, presented by Palestine and Jordan, with two countries voting against and eight abstaining.
He said UNESCO's "anti-Israel obsession... will only inflame existing tensions surrounding the Temple Mount" and the resolution is "a symptom of the longstanding Palestinian and the larger Arab world's rejection of the historical connection between Jerusalem and the Jewish People".
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France was among 26 countries that abstained from voting during the first resolution, which the Palestinians initiated and which was passed on October 13 by the executive board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon also spoke out against the UNESCO resolution.
Around 150 people, including right-wing Israelis and evangelical Christians, attended Wednesday's rally outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City and near the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound.
Wednesday's decision came a week after a similar resolution was approved by the body and elicited angry responses from Israel, several world leaders and even the body's own director general. Continued delay toward a solution seriously impedes this vibrancy, disillusioning the next generation of American Jews. "All attempts to deny our heritage, distort history and disconnect the Jewish people from our capital and our homeland are doomed to fail".
Israel occupied and later annexed Palestinian east Jerusalem in 1967 in a move never recognised by the global community.
In a letter sent to World Heritage Committee on Monday, the Palestinian and Jordanian delegations reportedly threatened to strengthen the Muslim claims to the site in the resolution, unless there was a consensus vote on the existing text. On the right, the Zionist Organization of America called the resolution "part of the Palestinian, Arab and, indeed, worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel's existence". The critical element is American-Israelis who retain the right to vote in US elections. "In 1984, the USA severed ties with UNESCO due to disparities between American foreign policy goals and UNESCO's agenda".