The United Nations passed a controversial resolution Wednesday that criticizes Israel and calls the Temple Mount only by its Muslim name, Haram al‑Sharif.
The resolution passed easily, 129-11, although Israel, the United States, Canada and Australia all opposed it.
The Temple Mount is the site of the first temple that was built by Solomon and destroyed by the Babylonians, and of the second temple that was destroyed by the Romans. It was this second temple that Jesus visited. The Western Wall, where Jews pray, is part of the Temple Mount structure. The Temple Mount also is considered holy within Islam.
The resolution says, “any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal.” Significantly, the resolution does not contain the phrase “Temple Mount” but instead refers to it as Haram al-Sharif – the Muslim term for the site.
The resolution calls for “upholding unchanged the historic status quo at the Haram al-Sharif” – although that term itself was seen by Israel as changing the dynamics.
“By referring to the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount, only by its Muslim name, the resolution itself is changing the status quo,” said Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan. “The hypocrisy of these resolutions is truly outrageous.”
U.S. Ambassador Richard Erdman also criticized the language, saying he had “serious concern” about the terminology and that the U.N. should have used language it has used in the past: “Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount,” which he called “agreed terminology that recognizes the shared and diverse history of the holy site.”
“The omission of this inclusive terminology is of real and sincere concern,” Erdman said. “It is morally, historically, and politically wrong for the members of this body to support language that denies both the Jewish and Muslim connections to the Temple Mount and Haram al-Sharif.”
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, theLeaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star andthe Knoxville News-Sentinel.