To be honest, I was not surprised by the number of Muslim and third-world countries that have voted in favour of the two so-called recent UNESCO resolutions declaring that the Old City of Jerusalem is solely a Muslim place, with no connections to Judaism and Christianity. I did not expect anything different from them.
However, what amazes me is the total silence from the major and minor Christian denominations who seem to ignore that denying the existence of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and all other ancient Jewish institutions there, is in effect a clear denial of the mere story of Christianity, of the life and mission of Jesus Christ!
Where are the Pope and his cardinals, always outspoken about injustices? Where are the Protestant bishops, the Anglican hierarchy, and the Orthodox patriarchs? Where are the Coptic Pope, the United Church of Canada moderators, the Methodists, and many others? And why are they so reticent to utter a word?
They should know better. That's because for a number of decades already, starting with the late Yasser Arafat, followed by the great “philosopher and historian” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and until the repeated statements of another "historian", Mahmoud Abbas—not to mention the dozens of mullahs, Arab commentators, and agitators—this nonsense, that there was no Jewish Temple, or presence in Jerusalem, and implicitly no Christian presence, has become a staple of Arab and Muslim misinformation.
Unfortunately as the years went by, the Arab and Muslim propaganda machine became bolder and more unhinged, especially because neither the Jews worldwide, but, more importantly, none of the Christian world leaders have ever forcefully raised their voices in anger and disbelief to unmask this historical farce. This has emboldened Muslim disinformation activists to raise the strakes even higher with more crazy statements and demands, while most of the rest of the world remained silent.
If some see this underhanded propaganda trick as an insult or an annoyance only for Jews and Israelis, think again!
While it appears on the surface to target Israelis and Jews, this campaign has deeper and darker motives.
Its ultimate goal is also the de-Christianization of Jerusalem, because it directly undermines the most basic tenants of Christianity by implying that the story of Jesus Christ is a biblical fabrication!
To make it clear, for the Jews the presence of the Temple in Jerusalem is extremely important, probably essential, but not the end of it all.
Jews have dozens of millennia-old archaeological discoveries and written documents from the city and around it. These include a trove of very recently discovered ancient manuscripts in biblical Hebrew, some 2,000 years old, proving beyond any doubt their claim to their history in the lands of Israel.
It's demonstrated in the Wall to the Caves of the Patriarchs to the fortress of Masada, as well as with the Dead Sea Scrolls, ossuaries discovered in the city with carved inscriptions in Hebrew dating before the Common Era, ancient coins, ceramics, tombstones, and even the ruins of 2,000-year-old Jewish ritual baths, the Mikvas. Not to mention the hundreds of writings by contemporary historians from all over the Roman Empire, all well documented and available, showing the Jewish presence in Jerusalem for thousands of years, while the Muslims arrived there some 1,400 years ago!
In essence, the Jews have no need to prove anything.
On the other hand, for the Christians, if there was no Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, as the Muslims and their allies now pretend, the whole Jesus story is nothing but a story.
If one reads the Gospels, most everything there evolves around the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, which is the main focal point of Jesus’s earthly life. All of the Gospels have hundreds of detailed descriptions about Him there and many recount different versions of the same events happening in and around the Temple.
Luke (2:39-52) describes how Jesus has travelled as a child every year with his parents to the Jerusalem Temple to celebrate Passover. Matthew (21:12-13) adds the words spoken by Jesus saying that “My House (the Temple) should be a House of Prayers!” In the Gospel of John, Jesus calls the Temple “My Father’s House” and both he and Mark give vivid details of what is called the “Cleansing of the Temple”.
Jesus and his disciples arrived there to throw out the “money changers” and others who were allegedly desecrating the holy institution by turning it in a “den of thieves”.
Without the Temple in Jerusalem and the Jews in the city, there could not have been any Last Supper, Passover celebration, trial, or carrying of the cross through the narrow streets of the Old City. There could not have been a Golgotha, no death on the Cross (John 19:41-42), no secret burial, and no resurrection.
As recent as a few days ago, archaeologists from a number of countries working in the caves of the ancient Church of Holy Sepulchre, built in 326 AD, three centuries before the advent of Islam, have announced that they might have discovered the stone burial slab on which the body of Jesus was placed after his crucifixion. This 17-century-year-old church is located on the top of the two holiest places in Christendom.
Is this church also not a part of the story of Christianity?
According to the UNESCO resolutions, it isn’t.
All of which makes one wonder why world and local Christian leaders are not loudly and angrily denouncing this huge historical fraud.