Prime Minister of France to Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites: “France will never deny the historical right and existence of Jerusalem Jewry”
France will never deny the right, existence, and correctness of the history of Jerusalems Jews, wrote the prime minister of France, Manuel Valls, to the Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites. This was in response to the Rabbis protest following the French governments vote supporting the UNESCO determination that the Jewish nation and Israel have no connection to the Temple Mount or to the Western Wall, and that Israel prevents Muslim religious freedom on the Temple Mount and Old City of Jerusalem.
In UNESCOs decision there were unfortunate phrasings that were even offensive. I believe that this should have been avoided, and the vote should not have occurred, wrote Valls in his letter to the Rabbi.
Rest assured that this decision does not change Frances policy. The governments stand regarding Jerusalem is clear and unwavering. This is defense of freedom of access and religion in Jerusalem. There are symbols of this city that unites the three great monotheistic religions, the city that belongs to all who believe, whether they are Jews, Christians, or Muslims. The Al-Aqsa mosque, the Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are symbols that have to speak to everyone, around the world, and they must be synonyms of peace. The French political act was striving to break the stalled peace process. The lack of peace between Israelis and Palestinians only inflames the violence in Jerusalem and outside of it, added the prime minister.
Earlier this month, the Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites wrote to the French prime minister following the vote and his apology following it: Undoubtedly, the Jewish nation was deeply harmed by this vote. Action is needed in addition to words. If peace in the Holy Land is dear to your heart I call upon you to implement your words and come to visit the Western Wall at the foot of the Temple Mount, the remnant of the Temple and the place that the Jewish nation has never left. Here, you can witness with your own eyes the painstaking care and tremendous responsibility with which the State of Israel deals with the Temple Mount issue, the true and rare freedom of religion that exists here, and the solid evidence that contradicts the blatantly false propaganda which Muslims spread about the Temple Mount.
The conflict surrounding the Temple Mount is not a religious conflict, continued the Rabbi. This is not about two faithful groups battling over control of one area. The Jewish nation and the State of Israel have never denied the connection of Muslim faithful to the Temple Mount. But Muslim leaders incessantly work to deny the actual existence of the two Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount. The Muslim Waqf conducts tremendous construction projects on the Mount while crudely trampling and destroying archeological remnants which are thousands of years old. Meanwhile, the State of Israel reveals its roots in excavations conducted completely under strict supervision of professionals and with total transparency.
The Prophet Zechariah prophesied, Therefore you shall love truth and peace. Without truth there can be no peace. As someone for whom peace is of great importance I call upon you to stand up for truth, the Rabbi concluded.