Hebron and UNESCO

Islamization of Jewish Holy Sites in UNESCO

Now even Hebron is being threatened by the Muslim agenda

As I write this article, I find myself astounded that UNESCO has managed to sink to new lows through their politicizing of cultural and religious heritage. Sunday, July 2nd through Wednesday, July 12th, UNESCO will be discussing a number of topics—among them, Israel (as usual). Not surprisingly, the discussion in UNESCO is not motivated by the millennia-old Jewish ties to Israel, but rather by new absurdities in the anti-Israel agenda focused primarily on the intensification of efforts to Islamize sites holy to Judaism.

Many are aware of the anti-Israel agenda in UN bodies such as UNESCO, but few are truly educated regarding the extent of the absurdities in the hundreds of anti-Israel resolutions that have passed in UN bodies over the years. For instance, Jerusalem’s Old City has actually been listed as an endangered world heritage site since 1982. This listing of Jerusalem’s Old City has required a recurring vote every year to stay as it has on the UNESCO list of endangered world heritage sites. Although the listing of Jerusalem’s Old City has, from the start, involved anti-Israel propaganda, this past year’s legislation took it to a new level.

Many of you Israel lovers out there are well aware that by 1982 Israel had been exercising sovereignty over Jerusalem’s Old City for 15 years. Do you know what nation Jerusalem’s Old City was listed under when it became recognized as an “endangered” world heritage site? It was not Israel—the only nation ever recognized as sovereign in any part of Jerusalem. Instead, Jordan was listed as the nation to which the Old City of Jerusalem belonged in Jerusalem’s appearance on the list of endangered world heritage sites.

The question resounding in my mind is: How is it that the UN refused to ever recognize Jordanian sovereignty in any part of Judea and Samaria, including Jerusalem, during the Jordanian occupation that lasted from 1948 to 1967, and yet when the choice had to be made regarding to whom Jerusalem’s Old City belonged in 1982, the UN decided on Jordan? Such absurdity seems only possible to understand in the context of a spiritual attack against God’s chosen people and the places in which He has chosen to reveal Himself to the people of Israel in the course of history as documented in His Word.

As we’ve discussed in a number of articles in recent years, the anti-Israel agenda has stepped up a notch among international organizations, especially in the UN. This is largely thanks to Arab intellectuals such as Hebron’s Mutaz M. Qafisheh who have led a movement that has received much more positive attention in a generation where suicide bombing is becoming an increasingly unpopular way to attack Israel. Academics such as Qafisheh have ingeniously suggested attacking Israel, not with bombs and other acts of violence, but through means that will be more attractive to Western powers—through media and political channels.

In recent years anti-Israel Muslim powers have successfully managed to introduce resolutions in UN bodies that have presented Jewish holy sites with zero recognition of their ties to Judaism throughout history and into the modern day—it is for this reason that I speak of the UN as sinking to new lows. Last year, UNESCO recognized Jerusalem as an endangered Muslim holy site. This year, Hebron is on the docket and it’s set to be brought to a vote in the upcoming UNESCO World Heritage Committee in the coming week and a half in Krakow, Poland.

In short, the upcoming vote seeks to present the Cave of the Patriarchs (AKA the burial cave of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) in Hebron as an endangered Muslim site. The Muslims aren’t interested in protecting the holy site, however; if the Hebron Islamization is successful, Islamic powers increase their leverage in their pursuit of spreading Muslim sovereignty over an area that has been defended by the free and democratic nation of Israel for 50 years already.

Part of the Islamization of Hebron took place through the building of the “Old City” of Hebron along with an elaborate mosque on top of one of Judaism’s most holy sites—the Cave of the Patriarchs. It seems to me that if you’re willing to build a city on top of a holy site, you don’t have the level of respect for the site that it deserves. Israel would never dream of building a city on top of sites holy to Christians or Muslims, and especially not on top of a Jewish holy site. Whenever it comes to the attention of Israel that a site is held as holy to any religion, Israel renders illegal any modern settlement activity within close proximity to the site. The only permissible activity is archeological digs aimed at uncovering a clearer understanding of the history of the site.

Take for instance, Capernaum, a site holy to Christians: Israel has long protected this site and honored its connection to Christianity. I could easily list a number of other sites protected by Israel because of their significance to any of the world’s religions. Although Jews are more than happy to live in holy cities in which an infrastructure already exists (for instance, the Old City of Jerusalem), Israel is careful to protect holy sites from damage due to any new construction.

In addition to carelessly building on top of one of the most holy sites to Judaism, Muslims successfully furthered the Islamization of Hebron when Hebron was ethnically cleansed of most of its Jews during the Jordanian occupation 69 years ago. Today, I’ve been told by a Muslim acquaintance of mine with whom I seek to share the love of our Messiah, that there are still some Jews living in Hebron today in spite of the ethnic cleansing that took place at the hands of the Jordanians. Since the liberation of Judea and Samaria in 1967, the Jewish population has been growing again in this heavily Islamized city. If the politicized efforts of the Arab League in UNESCO are successful however, the Jews of Hebron will find it much more challenging to remain in this city that has been most holy to Jews throughout history.

The good news is that unlike the unfortunate passing of the extremely biased and Islamizing propaganda regarding Jerusalem in this past year, there is a glimmer of hope regarding the possibility of blocking the Hebron vote in the coming days. In order to block the Hebron vote, Israel needs to find 7 nations that are members of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee who will veto the vote. Israel is not a member of the World Heritage Committee so Israel’s defense in the committee must be made entirely by nations other than Israel. Please pray with us that of the 21 World Heritage Committee member nations, 7 will choose to stand on behalf of Israel against the latest Islamizing propaganda that has now extended to include Hebron. Below is a list of the nations participating in the committee:

Angola, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Tanzania, Vietnam, Zimbabwe

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