One day after the US pulled out of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) due to its anti-Israel bias, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla) doubled down with twin resolutions supporting the historic and Biblical Jewish connection to Jerusalem that UNESCO has tried to erase.
Last week, Rep. Gaetz presented a resolution to the Congress in support of Israel and Jerusalem. The resolution condemns UNESCO’s anti-Israel actions and calls on the US to prevent such resolutions in the future. Later in the week, Senator Cruz will present an identical resolution to the Senate.
“I rise today to support our friend and ally Israel and to stand for the obvious proposition that Israel, the Jewish people, have an ancient connection to the city of Jerusalem,” Gaetz told the press after presenting Resolution 570 to the House.
“This connection has been forged through millennia shared faith and shared history, yet the UN is actually trying to rewrite history and condemn Jerusalem and call it an occupying power in Jerusalem and prevent scientists from excavating even though past findings have been significant.”
“They have been silent when Israel’s culture has been attacked including the desecration and burning of holy sites,” Gaetz continued, referring to the Tomb of Joseph, which has been burned and vandalized multiple times. “[The UN’s] cruelty and attempts to erase history and anti-Semitism cannot be tolerated any longer.”
Senator Cruz, who co-authored the resolution, is expected to present the sister motion, Resolution 291, to the Senate later this week. Cruz addressed the press alongside Gaetz.
“I am proud to have worked with Rep. Matt Gaetz on this bicameral resolution that formally rejects UNESCO’s shameful and absurd attempts to deliberately erase the history of Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital,” Cruz said on Friday. “This resolution reaffirms the profound historical connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem that has existed for thousands of years, describes archeological excavations at the City of David that have revealed incontrovertible, physical evidence of the Jewish, as well as Christian ties to Jerusalem, and denounces efforts at UNESCO to delegitimize Israel and deny historical truth.”
Over the past year, UNESCO has passed a number of resolutions attempting to negate the connection between Israel and Jewish holy sites within its borders. In May, the organization passed two resolutions on “Occupied Palestine” which stated that Israel has no legal or historical rights anywhere in Jerusalem and referred to the Jewish holy sites in Arabic, while placing blame for the regional conflict solely on Israel.
In July, UNESCO declared “occupied Hebron and the Ibrahim Mosque”, known to Jews and Christians as the Cave of the Patriarchs, as “Palestinian World Heritage Sites under threat from Israel”. This resolution contradicted the Biblical narrative of Abraham’s legal purchase of the cave as a burial site for Sarah.
Directly targeting the UNESCO resolutions, the Gaetz-Cruz resolution notes the “3,000 years, Jerusalem has played a central role in the history and identity of the Jewish people” and refers to the “holiest site for the Jewish people, the Temple Mount”. The resolution also emphasizes the religious significance of the city to Christians as well as Muslims.
In addition, the resolution expresses support for the Israeli government’s protection of religious freedom for all faiths.