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UNESCO’s bizarre motions


Hebron Credit: Ronan Shenhav/Flickr/Creative Commons

Hebron Credit: Ronan Shenhav/Flickr/Creative Commons

Earlier this month, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) continued to rewrite history, which according to some is the organization’s favorite pastime.

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee declared Israel the “occupier of the Western Wall and Jerusalem’s old city” as part of its annual meeting held in Kraków, Poland July 2 to 12th.

With eight abstaining, the 21-member committee approved the motion in a 10-3 vote on July 3, 2017.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry described the vote as “sad, needless and pathetic.” Such motions do little more than politicize important cultural and religious sites in the Middle East and further enflames already heated tensions.

Predictably the Palestinian Authority jumped on the vote using it as another platform calling for the removal of Israel’s control of Jerusalem, a city that has been a part of Jewish theology and history for thousands of years.

Then a few days later in a secret meeting, the Word Heritage Committee continued its rewrite declaring Hebron and the cave of the Patriarchs as endangered “Palestinian” sites.

Located 32 km south of Jerusalem in area controlled by the Palestinian Authority, Hebron is one of the oldest continually occupied cities in the world. Its connection to the Jews and their faith, traces back to the Old Testament when Abraham purchased a cave to bury his wife Sarah (Genesis 25:9) in the land promised to the patriarch’s descendants.

Though the Jews would not inhabit the Promised Land for another few hundred years, its purchase marked the first ownership of land by a Jew in what would eventually become Israel’s homeland.

According to Jewish tradition Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob and others were buried in the Cave of the Patriarchs.

Hebron’s importance continued after the arrival of the Jews in the Promised Land.

The prophet Samuel anointed David as King of Judah in Hebron (2 Samuel 2:1-4) and later used the city to anoint David king of all of Israel (2 Samuel 5:1-3). And for seven years, David used Hebron as his capital, before eventually moving it to Jerusalem.

The Jewish claim to Jerusalem and Hebron go back thousands of years.

In contrast, the Muslim Quran that lays out an Islamic claim to Jerusalem and Hebron was written by Muhammad between 609 and 632 AD, thousands of years later. Muhammad claims the text for the Quran was recited to him by the Angel Gabriel.

Sources:

 

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