(February 4, 2019 / JNS) Just weeks after Israel withdrew from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) due to allegations of anti-Israel bias and falsifying the significance of Jerusalem to Jews and Christians, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon led a delegation of 40 of his colleagues on Friday to the archeological City of David— Israel’s largest archeological site—in Jerusalem.
“Three-thousand years ago, this is where King David established his capital city,” said Danon. “The land of Israel is our ancestral homeland and Jerusalem is our eternal capital. We will continue to bring United Nations ambassadors, diplomats and staffers here to the City of David because there is nowhere better on earth … to demonstrate the Jewish people’s historic connection to Jerusalem.”
“At UNESCO, our history become a point of debate and was later denied,” he said. “It is easy to theorize from afar, but here in the City of David, the archaeology shows a clear and indisputable reality.”
Joining Danon and his fellow U.N. ambassadors were Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and Doron Spielman, vice president of the City of David Foundation, which manages and preserves the historic area.
“The archaeological facts that have been uncovered in City of David demonstrate the Jewish people’s deep connection to Jerusalem, our historic and modern-day capital,” Spielman told the delegation. “Attempts by discriminatory and biased organizations like UNESCO will never succeed.”
He continued, “Today, the City of David is overflowing with United Nations ambassadors from around the world that have come to witness that the most ancient people on earth living in their ancient recorded capital are the Jews in Jerusalem.”
Additionally, the U.N. ambassadors toured the Gaza periphery and learned about the threat to Israel of Hamas terror tunnels.
Meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, the dozens of diplomats utilized seven helicopters to tour the Gaza border and Israel’s north, where they were briefed on Hezbollah activity and saw the tunnels that IDF engineering troops dug from Lebanon to Israel.
“It is important to convey this powerful message—just as we prevented the terror tunnels from reaching Israel, we will thwart any aggression from Lebanon, Syria or Iran itself,” Netanyahu told the group. “We are committed to preventing this aggression, and thus we are protecting not only Israel but also our neighbors and the peace of the entire world.”
Prior to arriving in Israel, the group, led by Dr. Elana Heideman of the Israel Forever Foundation, toured sites in Poland connected with the Holocaust, including the Majdanek concentration camp. The American Zionist and the International March of Living co-sponsored and co-hosted the delegation.