On Friday, UNESCO’s 21-member World Heritage committee made one of the most egregiously anti-Semitic, and by extension, anti-Christian rulings in the U.N.’s history, voting to assert that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron was part of Palestine, not Israel. Twelve countries approved this ruling; three objected and six abstained. After Jerusalem, Hebron is the second-holiest city for the Jewish people.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the vote as “delirious,” blasting:
This time, they determined that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron is a Palestinian heritage site, meaning that it is not a Jewish site and that it is in danger. Not a Jewish site? After all, who is buried there? Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah, our patriarchs and matriarchs. The site is in danger? Only in places where Israel exists, like in Hebron, is freedom of worship guaranteed for all Everywhere else in the Middle East, mosques, churches and synagogues are being destroyed. We’ll continue to safeguard the Cave of the Patriarchs, freedom of religion and truth.
It’s ironic where the vote was taken; Krakow, Poland, the city where a Jewish ghetto was created by the Nazis in World War II. In 1942 and 1943, Jews were sent to their deaths at Belzec extermination camp, Plaszow slave-labor camp where thousands of Jews were walked into a trench of a hillside and shot, and the massive death camp at Auschwitz. Even after the war, a number of Jews returning to Krakow were murdered by the local populace.
Israel's Ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama HaCohen, fired back with alacrity, taking out his cell phone and saying, “Mr. Chairman. It’s my plumber in my apartment in Paris. There is a huge problem in my toilet and it is much more important than the decision you just adopted.”
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon:
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely: the vote was a "badge of shame for UNESCO, which time after time prefers to stand with the side of lies."
Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called UNESCO a "politically-biased, embarrassing and antisemitic organization."
Education Minister Naftali Bennett: "It is disappointing and disgraceful that, time and again, UNESCO denies history and distorts reality, knowingly serving those attempting to erase the Jewish state. Israel will not resume its cooperation with UNESCO so long as it remains a political tool, rather than professional organization."
As The Jerusalem Post reported:
The bulk of the Palestinian Authority’s proposal to World Heritage Committee focused on the Hebron’s Islamic history in its Old Town, starting from the Mamluk period in 1250 and through the Ottoman Empire which collapsed during World War I. The Herodian era structure was built over a double cave, where the three Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs are said to have been buried. The cave is on a plot of land that was purchased by Abraham in the Bible.
The U.S. representative said:
The decision to inscribe Hebron/Al Khalil Old Town on an emergency basis is divisive, confusing and impossible to justify. The site is not under any real or immediate threat. The only urgency here is the urgency to express political anger. Had the committee shown patience, this inscription might have represented , at some time in the future, an example of the World Heritage Committee as the international community’s best tool for cultural dialogue, mutual understanding and peace. Instead, the politically motivated decision today to inscribe only further stains UNESCO’s reputation and further divides this house.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki chortled, "This vote is considered a success in the diplomatic battle Palestine is fighting on all fronts. Despite the heated Israeli campaign, spreading of lies, the distortion and falsification of facts regarding Palestinian rights, the world approved our right to register Hebron and the Ibrahimi Mosque under Palestinian sovereignty and as World Heritage sites."
Not only is Hebron the city where King David was crowned, and the site of the tomb of the founders of the Jewish people, the city itself was the site of the massacre in 1929, when Arab terrorists murdered Jews while the British looked the other way. Sixty-seven Jews were murdered. As Bernard Wasserstein quoted in The British in Palestine: The Mandatory Government and the Arab-Jewish Conflict 1917-1929, one survivor reported, “On hearing screams in a room I went up a sort of tunnel passage and saw an Arab in the act of cutting off a child’s head with a sword.”
Yup. Lets call Hebron Palestinian.