JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited all U.N. personnel in Israel to a seminar on Jewish history. The invitation followed a recent resolution by the U.N. agency UNESCO that omits any connection of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount.
The U.N. special envoy to the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov declined Netanyahu's invitation, but the prime minister's spokesman, David Keyes, said the seminar would go on.
"Absolutely! We're going to hold it and we hope that a lot of diplomats come and we may even live stream it, in fact, to show folks at home," Keyes CBN News.
The UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem called Israel the "occupying power" and condemned its alleged aggression against Muslim worshippers. The document cites the al-Aksa Mosque and the Haram al Sharif, but it makes no mention of the Temple Mount or the 4,000-year-old history of Jewish people in Jerusalem.
"The Temple Mount isn't just any site," Keyes explained. "It's the single most holiest site to the Jewish people and has been for thousands of years. So denying the link the Jewish people and the Temple Mount is tantamount to saying you don't belong here."
The UNESCO resolution referred to the Western Wall as the al-Buraq Plaza and criticized Israeli archaeological digs in the area. It also blamed Israel for last fall's violence on the Temple Mount but failed to mention the actions of the Muslim rioters.
Keyes says the seminar is meant to correct the record.
"The prime minister wanted to expose the truth about the Temple Mount – perhaps a refresher course about the Jewish people and their connection to this land and the Temple Mount – because it spans back thousands of years," he said.
Keyes said the resolution makes peace more difficult.
"The fact that a U.N. body is denying that link between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount actually makes peace harder because peace is based on respect and understanding and this shows neither respect for history or understanding of the Jewish people," he said.
More than 40 nations voted for the resolution on Jerusalem. The U.S. voted against it.