Religious freedom is a principle upheld by the United Nations as a human right—except apparently when it applies to Jews praying at the site of their two Temples. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement delivered to an Islamic event on Monday reaffirmed the “status quo” atop the Temple Mount—also home to Muslim holy sites—as a place of worship for Muslims only.
“Israel’s reaffirmation not to seek to divide the site and the commitment to enforcing the long-standing policy in which Muslims pray and non-Muslims visit the holy sites must be strictly upheld,” said Ban in comments published by the United Nations. The same day that the UN leader undermine Jewish freedom of religion, the Israeli ambassador to the UN sought to remind the global body that Jews are people too.
Reading aloud the names of the nearly two dozen Israelis who have died in terror attacks since September, Ambassador Danny Danon was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as telling the UN General Assembly that “the heinous murder of 20 innocent Israelis, just because they are Israelis, is no different than the cruel massacre of innocents in France. Terror is terror is terror, and it must be fought against, not justified.”
The rise in violence comes as Palestinian leaders have stoked religious tensions over the Temple Mount, accusing the Israelis of wanting to change the “status quo” at the holy site. Israel has repeatedly denied such claims and are working with the Jordanians to set up video cameras to prove it.
This message isn’t being accepted by the Palestinians, who again slandered Israel at the same UN meeting where Ban’s speech was presented. In a report by the Wafa Palestinian news agency, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Reyad al-Maliki accused Israeli of risking the status quo at the Temple Mount in actions that could help create a religious conflict. Maliki made those comments at the same venue that the UN leader Ban affirmed Israel’s steps to de-escalate the Temple Mount tensions with the arrangement with Jordan.
Israel is often on the defensive at the Arab-aligned UN General Assembly, but voices like Danon continue to present Israel’s views anyway, noted Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in a press release from his office.
In comments prior to Danon’s speech, Rivlin used the Hanukkah festival of lights in saying that “Israel is all too often the target of politically motivated attacks in the UN. But we insist on presenting our views, even as the few against many, in the belief, that the light Israel spreads—not just at Chanukah but every day—will overcome the darkness of extremism, violence, and terrorism.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, December 14, 2015)