Prof. Miriam Elman has extensively covered how the Palestinians, through UNESCO, are trying to steal Jewish historical identity.

The latest move, expected to go to a vote any day, is the attempt to reclassify the Cave (or Tomb) of the Patriarchs in Hebron as a Palestinian site, Palestinians Launch New Bid to Usurp Jewish Holy Sites via UNESCO. The UNESCO vote is expected on Friday, July 7, 2017.

Yishai Fleisher in the Jerusalem Post exposes this foul attempt at identity theft:

In the ancient city of Hebron, there stands a colossal, 2,000-year-old burial monument – a kind of Taj Mahal of the Middle East. Josephus, the antiquities historian, records that this monument was built by the Jewish king Herod the Great as an adornment atop the 3,800-year-old tombs of Abraham, his wife Sarah, and most of the founding family of the Jewish People. The last person to be buried there was the Jewish forefather Jacob, also known as Israel.

It is this structure, known as the Tomb of the Patriarchs or the Cave of Machpela in Hebron, that the PA is audaciously trying to claim as its own.

But the depth of Hebron’s Jewish history will present a serious challenge to that effort. The Book of Genesis records Abraham’s negotiation and purchase of the Machpela cave in Hebron for a family burial plot. Archaeological remains attest to Jewish life in Hebron during the Iron Age (First Temple) and the Roman (Second Temple) period. Throughout the Middle Ages, Jewish and Christian travelers noted the presence of a Jewish community living in Hebron and worshiping at the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

In the 16th century, after the eviction of Jews from Spain, sephardi Jews buttressed the Hebron community and helped it flourish. The Hebron Jewish community was the oldest and longest unbroken presence of Jewish People in the land of Israel.

No doubt there is also Muslim history in Hebron as well. In 637 CE, during the early Muslim conquest, Muslims and Jews coexisted in Hebron. But in 1267 CE, the Mamluks, a Muslim military caste from Egypt, captured Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs and rebranded it the Mosque of Ibrahim. They altered the building by adding two minarets to the top and imposed a jihadist policy of banning Jews, Christians and all non-Muslims from entering the building or visiting the underground burial caves.

Suddenly, in an act of national identity theft, this originally Jewish building housing the founders of the Jewish People, had a Muslim look and feel, with no Jews allowed in. This is exactly the outcome UNESCO is working toward today.

Yet even back then, under Mamluk rule, Jews would not abandon the site, stubbornly holding prayer services at the outside wall of the building. They kept up that practice for the next 700 years. And so things went until 1929 when a horrific jihadist pogrom ended in the murder of 67 Jews. The community’s survivors were then evicted by the occupying British.

Here are photos I took at the Cave of the Patriarchs in 2015:

[Cave of Patriarchs – Abraham][Photo Credit William Jacobson, 2015]

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[Cave of the Patriarchs – Jacob][Photo Credit William Jacobson, 2015]

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[Cave of the Patriarchs – Leah][Photo credit William Jacobson, 2015]

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