Ahead of this year’s celebration of the Israeli holiday of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) on June 5, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said that Israel’s historic ties to the Jerusalem-based Temple Mount and Western Wall sites do not need justifications or apologies.
“It’s so absurd, so ridiculous; I can’t get over it,” Netanyahu said in a special Knesset meeting, according to the Jerusalem Post. “Do people claim the Egyptians aren’t connected to the pyramids in Giza? It’s ridiculous.”
Netanyahu was criticizing the recent United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) resolution that used language which ignores the historic Jewish connections to the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, and eastern Jerusalem. The prime minister reiterated that the Jewish ties to Jerusalem and its holy sites date back to King David’s time and through the First and Second Temple eras.
Additionally, Netanyahu discussed Arab violence and incitement relating to the Temple Mount.
“Violence will not deter us or put our control over Jerusalem in doubt,” he said, adding, “Jerusalem deserves quiet. We cannot let anyone spark extremism.”
Netanyahu has repeatedly said that Israel will maintain the Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian “status quo” agreement for the Temple Mount, which includes a ban on Jewish prayer at the holy site.