The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, for publicly acknowledging Israel and the Jewish people’s historic and religious ties to Jerusalem –– recently and shamefully denied by a UNESCO resolution –– and also for making some incisive observations about the nature and evils of anti-Semitism.
In his Holocaust Day Memorial Speech, Secretary-General Gutterres noted, merely in passing, in that “Imperial Rome not only destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, but also made Jews pariahs in many ways” (Antonio Guterres, ‘Remarks at Observance of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust,’ UN General Assembly, New York, January 27, 2017).
For that acknowledgement of the undebatable historical fact that Jerusalem has a long-standing historical and religious connection to the Jewish people, Secretary-General Guterres was criticized by the Palestinian Authority (PA), run by dictator Mahmoud Abbas, currently in the 13th year of his five-year term. Abbas’ Fatah party, which controls the PA said that “This is an assault on Palestinians’ rights in the city.”
To his credit, Secretary-General Guterres did not back away, but elaborated further in an Israel Radio interview that “it was “completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple.” The ‘moderate’ Abbas’ PA then responded that Mr. Guterres had “violated all legal, diplomatic and humanitarian customs, overstepped his role as secretary general,” and demanded that he “issue an apology to the Palestinian people” (Adam Rasgon, ‘Palestinian Slam UN Chief’s Remarks in Jewish Ties to Temple Mount, Jerusalem Post, January 30, 2017).
Abbas’ PA has a long, shameful history of denying Jewish history and the Jewish connection to Israel, especially Jerusalem. (A list of flat-earth PA lies about Jerusalem and the Jewish people can be perused here).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA commends Secretary-General Guterres for his forthright, accurate and truthful statements about the Jewish connection to Jerusalem. We particularly commend him for re-stating and reinforcing his words when attacked by despicable, lying, pro terror Fatah officials.
“It is a sign of our times that it is genuinely newsworthy and deserving of praise when a public official simply tells the truth, especially about Israel.
“It would be hard to think of a historical and religious connection, like the millennial Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, that is older, stronger or better documented.
“There is an alarming and long record of Palestinians of flat-earth denial of well-known Jewish history that would simply boggle the mind of any educated Westerner conversant with the subject.
“For example, when Yasser Arafat turned down President Bill Clinton’s peace parameters in January 2001, he stunned President Clinton by denying that the biblical Jewish Temples had stood on Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
“PA lies about Jerusalem and its Jewish history are designed to prepare the groundwork for asserting a new, outrageous demand and precondition –– that Jerusalem’s Jewish holy sites and Jewish prayers and practices related to them must cease. What makes these Muslim lies about Jerusalem even more extraordinary is that Jerusalem is not holy to Muslims. The word Jerusalem never appears in Islam’s holy book, the Koran and no Arab leader(except King Hussein) ever visited Jerusalem when Jordan illegally controlled it from 1948-67. And they allowed it to become a slum during their control while destroying 58 synagogues there.
“We urge President Trump to call upon the PA to publicly withdraw their false, outrageous, offensive, and absurd claims about Jerusalem.
“No one is obliged to listen respectfully and in silence to the propagation of absurd and audacious lies and it is past time for the Pa to be called out on it, as Secretary-General Guterres has done.”