November 21, 2018

Beverly Hills City Council condemns UNESCO resolution

Beverly Hills City Council has condemned the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) resolution that, adopted Oct. 13, denies the Jewish connection to the holy sites of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

Approved Oct. 18, the Beverly Hills resolution calls for “UNESCO to rescind the resolution in question and to acknowledge the deep historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.”

“My hope would be other cities would follow. It clearly is symbolic, [but I hope] other cities and other levels of government will join us in condemning this blatant act of anti-Semitism,” Mayor John Mirisch, who attends Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills, said in a phone interview. “It really is chutzpah — no other way to describe it — to deny a deep relationship between the Jewish people and the holy sites in Jerusalem.”

Four members of the five-member council supported the resolution. Beverly Hills vice mayor Nancy Krasne abstained from the vote.

“I believe in the separation of church and state, and to me we’re crossing over the line, so I’m not going to support it,” Krasne, who is also Jewish, said during the City Council meeting.

The council requires three votes in support of a resolution in order for it to be approved.

The Beverly Hills City Council vote followed a statement released Oct. 17 by Congressman Ted Lieu of California’s 33rd district, which includes Beverly Hills, describing the UNESCO resolution as “bigoted.”

The Beverly Hills vote underscores the ongoing partnership between the city and the State of Israel. In 2015, officials signed a memorandum of understanding that formalizes partnerships in areas related to water shortages, cybersecurity and culture.

The Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, which has helped facilitate ties between the city of Beverly Hills and Israel, applauded the recent vote by Beverly Hills City Council.

“The Consulate General of Israel in LA would like to express its deepest appreciation to the Beverly Hills City Council for opposing UNESCO's resolution that ignores Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and Western Wall,” Maya Kadosh, consul for public diplomacy and culture at the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, said in a statement.