Former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has slammed the United Nations and UNESCO for passing a resolution last week that denies the Christian and Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem.
"Jews and Christians around the world should be morally outraged by UNESCO's theft, robbing them of their history and denying their connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall," Carson wrote in an op-ed published by the Independent Journal Review on Monday.
"UNESCO's adaptation of this virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel resolution is an outright abomination," he added.
Carson explained that "anti-Israel" bias at the U.N. led the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to pass a resolution denying Judeo-Christian connections to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel.
The controversy arose last week when UNESCO members voted to approve a resolution that referred to the Temple Mount and Western Wall, the sites of millennia-old Jewish and Christian history, solely by their Muslim names.
Twenty-four UNESCO members voted in favor of the resolution, 26 abstained, and six voted against the proposal that was put forth by the Palestinians, along with Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Sudan. The resolution also condemns Israel on several issues related to Jerusalem and its holy sites, according to i24News.
"The draft resolution, a copy of which was obtained by Ha'aretz, acknowledges that the city of Jerusalem is holy to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity but says the Temple Mount holy site is sacred only to Muslims ...
"An entire section of the proposal dedicated specifically to the Temple Mount complex refers only to the site's Muslim names (Al-Aqsa Mosque and Haram al-Sharif) and fails to mention its Hebrew or English names (Har HaBayit or Temple Mount)," i24News reports.
The decision outraged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called UNESCO, the agency in charge of preserving historical and culturally significant landmarks, a "theater of the absurd."
"Even if they do not read the Bible, I would suggest that UNESCO members visit the Arch of Titus in Rome. On it one can see what the Romans brought back to Rome after they destroyed and looted the Second Temple on the Temple Mount 2,000 years ago," Netanyahu said in a statement.
"There, engraved on the Arch of Titus, is the seven-branched menorah that is the symbol of the Jewish People and, I remind you, is also the symbol of the Jewish state today. Soon, UNESCO will say that the Emperor Titus engaged in Zionist propaganda."
Carson noted that the Hebrew Bible refers to the Temple Mount as the site of two Jewish Temples prior to their destruction, though it is also recognized by Jewish and Islamic tradition as the spot where Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son, Isaac.
"King Solomon built the First Temple in 957 BC, and it was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The Second Temple was built 70 years later on the same exact site by Jews who returned from exile — but was destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 AD," Carson continued.
"All that remains are sections of the retaining wall that surrounded the Second Temple. Jews pray every day at the Western Wall, except during those instances when Palestinian rioters atop the Temple Mount hurl stones down from above."
The retired neurosurgeon accused UNESCO of "blatantly denying history," and accused the U.N. of a history of false accusations against Israel.
"This latest development by UNESCO should be a gross embarrassment for the United Nations," he wrote.
"This pathetic attempt to expunge the sacrosanct, historical Judeo-Christian connection to the Temple Mount and to erode the undeniable connection to the holy city of Jerusalem strips the United Nations of any credibility and moral authority it may have once possessed."