November 30, 2010
Contact: Nathan J. Diament – 202-513-6484
Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (“Orthodox Union”) – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization – welcomed the Obama Administration’s condemnation of a recent report issued by an official of the Palestinian Authority that claims the Western Wall in Jerusalem has no religious or ancient significance to Jews.
The Administration’s statement was made by State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley at his daily briefing as follows:
“Regarding a claim by a senior Palestinian official of the Western Wall is an Islamic Waqf, we strongly condemn these comments and fully reject them as factually incorrect, insensitive and highly provocative. We have repeatedly raised with the Palestinian Authority leadership the need to consistently combat all forms of de-legitimization of Israel including denying historic Jewish connections to the land.”
The Palestinian official’s report was issued last week and the Orthodox Union immediately condemned it and wrote to President Obama asking him to do the same.
The Palestinian officials report was also condemned today by Rep. Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Orthodox Union Director of Public Policy Nathan Diament issued the following statement today:
“The Orthodox Union welcomes the Obama Administration’s repudiation of the Palestinian Authority official’s report denying the Jewish connection to the Western Wall. We appreciate that the Administration has thus responded positively to our request to the President – which was echoed by others , such as Chairman Berman.
As we stated last week, this official government propaganda is contemptible, historically false and runs afoul of efforts to achieve peace with the State of Israel.
Coming from an official arm of the Palestinian Authority it is nothing other than official incitement. We also believe it is further evidence of why Jerusalem must remain unified under Israel’s flag and Israel’s laws that recognize and guarantee the rights of all its citizens.