The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) laid out 30 principles which all people are afforded around the world. The United Nations often quotes it, except when it relates to Jews.
UDHR Article 2 states that all people all entitled to rights and freedoms, regardless of “race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” That clearly covers Jews – even those from Israel or from disputed territories.
UDHR Article 18 covers faith, including its practices: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” Many Muslim countries trample on the ability to change religion, banning apostasy in their constitutions, a flagrant violation of the UDHR which is never discussed at the United Nations due to Muslim Privilege.
The ability for Jews to pray as is their historic custom and right is not ignored at the UN, but countered in a ban outrageously embraced and enshrined.
The Jewish Temple Mount
The holiest location for Jews is the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been the center of Jewish focus and prayer for over 3,000 years, after King David moved the Jewish people’s capital there from Hebron, and his son, King Solomon, built the First Temple. For most of the first thousand years, Jews had a temple at different times on the site, offering animal sacrifices in accordance with the direction of the Hebrew bible. After the Second Temple was destroyed in 70CE, Jews still climbed the mount to offer silent prayer, and did so for 1,500 years.
The Ottomans came to the Jewish holy land in 1517, and Suleiman I (1494-1566) rebuilt much of Jerusalem including the iconic city walls. As part of his vast Jerusalem projects, he kicked the Jews off of the Temple Mount and afforded them a small sliver of the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount – the Western Wall or Kotel – for prayer. Jews have effectively been banned from praying on their holiest site since that time.
The Ottoman Empire ended in 1916 but the world did not consider addressing the catastrophic dangers of deeply-rooted anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia until after World War II and the Holocaust of European Jewry.
The Enabling Hands Blocking Jewish Prayer Rights
In December 1948, the world sought to put an end to wars and hatreds and drew up the UDHR in the hope that people could be respectful to others who are different. The mention of religion in the articles was a direct result of the atrocities which befell Jews at the hands of non-Jews, as described in the preamble, regarding the “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind.“
Yet as the global body drafted these rights, the Jewish State was fighting for its very survival against several invading Arab armies. The invading Jordanian army ethnically-cleansed all Jews from the eastern part of the holy land, including the Old City of Jerusalem, just a few years after the Holocaust. The Jordanians went on to ban Jews from even visiting or praying in the city, including at the Kotel and Temple Mount.
The vile Muslim anti-Semitism was addressed when Jordan attacked Israel again in June 1967 and lost its illegally seized lands, enabling Jews to move into their holy city once again. However, to facilitate a ceasefire with the various Muslim countries which had tried to destroy the Jewish State, Israel allowed the Jordanian Waqf to continue to administer the Temple Mount and maintain its ban on Jewish prayer.
To this day, the United Nations demands a change in the status quo of Israel controlling the eastern part of Jerusalem including the Old City, while simultaneously demanding maintaining the anti-Semitic policy of banning Jews from praying at their holiest site. It’s practical madness, in trying to appease the dozens of Muslim UN member nations while trampling on the basic human rights of Jews.
This Chanukah, at a time when Jews around the world place their menorahs in their windows to show the world that they celebrate Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount, let’s demand that the government of the State of Israel assert with clarity that the dignity of Jews matters. Jews have an inalienable right to pray at their holiest location, the Jewish Temple Mount.
Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough