JERUSALEM, Israel – The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday approved a resolution about Jerusalem that only referred to the Temple Mount by its Muslim name, “al-Haram al-Sharif.”
The resolution called for “upholding unchanged the historic status quo at the Haram al-Sharif,” and called any actions by Israel to impose its laws on the city of Jerusalem “illegal.”
A total of 129 countries supported the resolution, 11 voted against it, and 31 abstained including, Austria, Brazil, Germany, India, Kenya, the Netherlands, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, called the resolution an attempt to “erase Jewish history in our eternal capital.”
The United States opposed the resolution, saying it is “morally, historically and politically wrong for members of this body to support language that denies” both Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism.
The United Kingdom abstained from the vote, arguing that the text of the resolution was too one-sided.
"The resolution adopted today refers to the holy sites in Jerusalem in purely Islamic terms, without recognizing the Jewish terminology of 'Temple Mount.' The UK has made clear for many years that we disagree with this approach, and while we welcome the removal of the majority of these references, we are disappointed that we were unable to find a solution to the final instance," the British envoy said.
The Palestinian ambassador welcomed the Jerusalem resolution.
“Occupied Jerusalem was and will remain an essential part of the land of the State of Palestine and its eternal capital,” said Riyad al-Maliki, the Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Despite the resolution passing overwhelmingly in the General Assembly as it did in 2018, there was a significant drop in the number of countries that supported it. In 2018, 148 countries voted in favor of the Jerusalem resolution. This year, several countries, including Hungary and the Czech Republic, changed their votes due to the resolution’s one-sided language.
The Jerusalem resolution was one of three addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The other two resolutions demanded that Israel give up its claims to the Golan Heights, territory it captured in the 1967 Six-Day war, and called for increased efforts by Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate a peaceful end to their conflict.
Israel has long accused the United Nations of being biased against it.
Erdan called the resolutions “distorted” and said countries that support them are “directly contributing to prolonging this conflict.”