The resolution passed by UNESCO this week which declared that Judaism has no connection to the Temple Mount and Western Wall compound in Jerusalem is only the tip of the iceberg.

Other diplomatic decisions concerning the status of the Old City of Jerusalem convey far more serious consequences.

Last year, I asked David Kriss, the EU spokesman as to how the EU defines Israeli activity in the Old City.

Kriss responded that all Israeli activity in the Old City of Jerusalem is considered to be illegal, and that the UN backs up that status which defines the Old City of Jerusalem as an illegally occupied settlement.

I asked Kriss if that “illegal” definition included the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall compound. Kriss answered affirmatively. I asked if prayer at the Western Wall would constitute illegal settlement activity. Kriss’s answer was affirmative.

What can be done to reverse the UNESCO position?

There is one address : The US Congress, especially in an election year, could withhold funds from UNESCO until UNESCO changes its position on the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall compound in Jerusalem.

I was eyewitness to a precedent of how Congress can take action against a UN agency.

In 2001, the news organization that I head, the Israel Resource News Agency,  discovered a Palestinian Ministry of Tourism map that was published by the UNDP, the UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, one of the most powerful outlets  of the UN.   That UNDP map obliterated Israel and even deleted the Jewish Quarter.

I flew to Washington to hand 30 copies of the map to each member of the Middle East Subcommittee of the US House Foreign Relations Committee.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), a prominent member committee, took swift action.

In my presence, Engel called the director of UNDP and demanded that UNDP remove the map immediately and fire the staff that had produced the map.

Engel told the UNDP director that failure to remove the UNDP map would result in immediate US suspension of funds to the UNDP.

The next day, a Palestinian journalist entered the UNDP office in Jerusalem and asked for the UNDP Palestinian tourist map and was told that it had been removed, never to be seen again under UNDP auspices.

The same Palestinian Ministry of Tourism map which deletes Israel was republished by the PA, without the UNDP insignia, and can be viewed at:

What is good for the geese is good for the gander.

Imagine, if you would, if a prominent member of the US Congress were to tell UNESCO that they will not get a penny of US funds if they do not reverse the UNESCO declaration that there is no connection between Judaism and the Temple Mount and the Western Wall compound?

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.


  1. The Jewish People have sovereignty over all of Jerusalem under international law. Such sovereignty is supported by several different legal opinions. See: Brand, Several Paths from a 1920 Jewish National Home to a 2016 Jewish State
    The UN relies on an opinion by WT Mallison and his wife who conclude that settlements outside the area of Palestine assigned to the Jewish People under the Partition Resolution (General Assembly Resolution 181) are illegal. However it is well known that the UN General Assembly has no authority to make new international law. Its authority is only to recommend. Its recommendations become law only if all affected parties agree. The Arab People rejected the Partition Resolution and it died at birth.
    The occupation of Jerusalem by the Jewish People is lawful under the San Remo Resolution and the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine that implements it.

  2. How can Israel’s presence in Jerusalem or in fact anywhere in Judea or Samaria
    be illegal ? I have asked this question many times and have never had a coherent reply aside from the irrelevant Geneva convention on transfer which is inapplicable.


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