Recently, the Israeli news service ‘YNet’ revealed that Islamic authorities – led by the ‘Waqf’ Islamic Trust – are continuing their vicious campaign to desecrate Judaism’s holiest site. In doing so, the Waqf is continuing in the footsteps of the Taliban by attempting to erase all traces of pre-Islamic heritage from areas under their control, even at the expense of destroying ancient archaeological and religious treasures.
This large-scale ‘cultural vandalism’ is not just a religious or indeed cultural issue; it is part of a wider extremist politico-religious campaign led by Palestinian groups and backed by international Islamist organisations, to deny any and all Jewish connection to Jerusalem. The Waqf and its associates have been waging a religious and cultural war over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount for many decades, during which time it has engaged in breathtaking acts of vandalism and used threats of violence to enforce a regime of religious persecution towards Jews, which includes discrimination and harassment.
For more pictures of the most recent (and ongoing) example of the Waqf’s illegal desecration of the Temple Mount, including the use of the Temple Foundation Stone as a construction site, see here and here.
The outrageous indifference of international bodies such as UNESCO to the constant desecration of Jewish holy sites is compounded by their staggering double-standards. Only recently, UNESCO granted funds and legitimacy to the Palestinian Authority’s highly politicised campaign to win ‘endangered world heritage status’ for the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. In the past, international bodies (including UNESCO) have reacted with vocal support to threats of violence by Islamists against Israeli renovations of even the most peripheral areas of the Mount. (You can read more about the desecration of the Temple Mount here.)
Other Jewish religious sites under attack include Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem and the 3,000 year-old Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. All of these acts of violence and vandalism have been met with a deafening silence.
The British Israel Coalition urges you to remain silent no more.
In the name of religious freedom, we demand that the Waqf end its barbaric campaign of destruction, which, based on recent statements by the International Criminal Court, amount to a clear breach of international law. Historical treasures such as the Temple Mount must be protected regardless of religious identification, and the inaction of UNESCO and other world governments and organisations in the face of this concerted vandalism of Jewish holy sites is utterly unjustifiable. Within the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict and based on the ICC’s chief prosecutor’s recent statements, the Waqf’s campaign is nothing short of a war crime, and we call upon the ICC, UNESCO and world governments to take the necessary steps to enforce international law.
Act now to defend a World Heritage site and the holiest place in Judaism. You CAN make a difference with this simple 5-point plan of action:
- Contact your local MP and urge him/her to lobby the Foreign Office to intervene to halt the continued desecration of this ancient religious and historic treasure, and the suppression of the basic human right of freedom of worship. (You can find out who your MP is here. Remember to include your address in any correspondence to ensure a response from your constituency MP. If you are not from the UK then contact your local political representative.)
- Contact UNESCO’s offices, both here in the UK (or its offices in your respective country), as well as at their head offices, to demand it take action now and in the future to prevent all such desecration of ancient religious and historical sites.
- Contact your local MEP to lobby the EU to condemn the ongoing desecration and discrimination, to pressure the Waqf and its associates to halt their continued desecration on the Temple Mount, and to push for an official EU enquiry into the continued desecration of the Temple Mount and other non-Muslim historical sites (including British and Commonwealth war graves) by Islamists across the region. (You can find out who your MEP is here. Again, remember to reference your home region in any correspondence to ensure a response.)
- Stay informed by following this campaign on Facebook. You can also stay informed by signing up to our emailing list and following the British Israel Coalition Facebook page.
- Sign our petition here! Once we have reached our target number of signatures, this petition will be handed to the British Foreign Office, the European Union, the International Criminal Court and UNESCO, to urge immediate action to end the desecration of the Temple Mount and the suppression of free worship there.
Remember: your actions CAN make a difference! Please share this campaign with your friends, and keep your emails and letters polite and as short and to the point as possible (and bcc us in at email@example.com).
The British Israel Coalition has successfully scuppered the activities of anti-Israel extremists on many occasions – most recently banning a number of extremists from a conference in Manchester and mobilising our thousands of supporters to successfully back a campaign to cancel a jihadist mega-event in London.
We are currently working with our friends to mount an unprecedented international effort to end this disgraceful desecration of Judaism’s holiest site and one of the oldest historical sites in the Middle East.
Be a part of this global effort and act now!
For more information or to coordinate activities in your area please contact firstname.lastname@example.org