We have been covering the ongoing Palestinian attempt to expunge the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and Hebron, as part of what properly should be called a Cultural Jihad against the Jews.

This Cultural Jihad demonstrates that the Palestinians are not interested in peace, instead clinging to religious war. So what is happening has implications far beyond the historical sites themselves.

The latest is that UNESCO voted today to declare Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs to be and “endangered” Palestinian site.

[Hebron Cave of the Patriarchs][Photo Credit: William Jacobson 2015]

Here are some of our prior posts on the subject of the attempt to expunge Jewish history through the United Nations:

The Times of Israel reports:

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed an anti-Israel resolution for the second time in less than a week on Friday, voting in a stormy session to have the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in the Old City of Hebron in the West Bank, inscribed as a Palestinian world heritage site in danger….

Twelve countries voted in favor of the move, while three opposed it. Six countries abstained.

Votes to inscribe sites onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List are usually done by a show of hands among all the member states. But three countries — Poland, Croatia and Jamaica — requested a secret ballot. Several states objected, leading to a shouting match between delegates, and Israeli Ambassador Carmel Shama-Hacohen storming to the desk of the session’s chairman to make Israel’s case. The kerfuffle ended after the chairman, a Polish diplomat, called in security.

Shama-Hacohen accused the session’s chairman of not conducting a truly secret ballot, as the chairman ordered the delegates to come up to the front of the hall and put a sealed envelope into a box in front of the other diplomats. The Israeli envoy claimed he was promised the vote would take place behind a curtain, hoping that would enable delegates from moderate Arab states to reject the Palestinian-led bid.

This was contrary not only to history, but also a UNESCO group of experts (ICOMOS), who had declined to recommend the proposal, said the Palestinian heritage request was too focused on Muslim history, and was weak, as it neglected Jewish and Christian history at the place before the Mamluk period (The Palestinian proposal called Hebron a Mamluk town. Ironically it was the Mameluke who forbade Jews and Christians to pray there). So, they don’t even listen to the experts (again). It’s a political decision and thus contra UNESCO mandate.

 

Israeli politicians, including the foreign minister, reacted angrily:

In addition to all our other discussion of how the Cave of the Patriarchs is Jewish historical and religious site, this entry from the Jewish Virtual Library succinctly summarizes the actual history:

The Cave of Machpelah is the world’s most ancient Jewish site and the second holiest place for the Jewish people, after Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The cave and the adjoining field were purchased—at full market price—by Abraham some 3700 years ago. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah are all later buried in the same Cave of Machpelah. These are considered the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people. The only one who is missing is Rachel, who was buried near Bethlehem where she died in childbirth.

The double cave, a mystery of thousands of years, was uncovered several years ago beneath the massive building, revealing artifacts from the Early Israelite Period (some 30 centuries ago). The structure was built during the Second Temple Period (about two thousand years ago) by Herod, King of Judea, providing a place for gatherings and Jewish prayers at the graves of the Patriarchs.

This uniquely impressive building is the only one that stands intact and still fulfills its original function after thousands of years. Foreign conquerors and invaders used the site for their own purposes, depending on their religious orientation: the Byzantines and Crusaders transformed it into a church and the Muslims rendered it a mosque. About 700 years ago, the Muslim Mamelukes conquered Hebron, declared the structure a mosque and forbade entry to Jews, who were not allowed past the seventh step on a staircase outside the building.

Upon the liberation of Hebron in 1967, the Chief Rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces, the late Major-General Rabbi Shlomo Goren, was the first Jew to enter the Cave of Machpelah. Since then, Jews have been struggling to regain their prayer rights at the site, still run by the Muslim Waqf (Religious Trust) that took control during the Arab conquest. Many restrictions are imposed on Jewish prayers and customs at the Tomb of the Patriarchs despite the site’s significance, primacy and sanctity in Jewish heritage and history.

Over 300,000 people visit Ma’arat HaMachpelah annually. The structure is divided into three rooms: Ohel Avraham, Ohel Yitzhak, and Ohel Ya’akov. Presently Jews have no access to Ohel Yitzhak, the largest room, with the exception of 10 days a year.

UNESCO has been at the forefront of this Cultural Jihad.

None of this can be viewed in isolation. It is part of the Palestinian rejectionism that always has framed the dispute in religious terms. The 1929 riots that drove the Jews out of Hebron (to return in 1967) was religious, Anniversary of 1929 Hebron Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing of Jews:

Hebron had one of if not the oldest continuous Jewish communities in the world, dating back several hundred years at least. Until 1929.

On August 23, 1929, the Arabs attacked the Jews of Hebron along with numerous other Jewish communities.

But in Hebron it was particularly vicious. It was a blood frenzy in which the Jews were set upon with particular glee and slaughtered with knives, machetes and anything else available.

August 23, 1929, marked the beginning of two days of murderous rioting against the Jewish population of Hebron. More generally, it marked a week’s worth of disturbances in British-controlled Palestine, in which Arabs attacked and killed their Jewish neighbors, with there being some attacks by Jews on Arabs.

At the end of a week of violence, 133 Jews were dead, and 110 Arabs had been killed, nearly all of the latter by British security forces.

By far, the worst of the violence against Jews took place in Hebron, at the time a city of some 21,000 residents, of whom some 700 were Jewish and the remainder Arab Muslims.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1929_Hebron_massacre#/media/File:Hebron_massacre_newspaper.jpg

The massacre is remembered by the perpetrators with great joy:

As historian Benny Morris has documented, throughout the Arab world the desire to liquidate Jewish nationalism was viewed as holy Jihad (emphasis added):

What I discovered in the documentation relating to the war, at least from the Arab side, was that the war had a religious character, that the central element in the war was an imperative to launch jihad. There were other imperatives of course, political and others—but the most important from the enemy’s perspective was the element of the infidels who had the nerve to take control over sacred Muslim lands and the need to uproot them from there. The decisive majority in the Arab world saw the war first and foremost as a holy war, but until today historians have not examined the documentation that proves this. In my view, they have also ignored Arab rhetoric of the day, which universally included religious hatred against the Jews, because they thought the Arabs adopted this as normal speech that did not emanate from deep mental resources. They thought this was something superficial, that everyone talked like this. But I am positive the Arab spokesmen in 1948 did go beyond this and clearly and explicitly talked about jihad.

So the attempt to deny Jewish history is part of the attempt to deny the Jews right to a homeland in the homeland of the Jews, who were there long before there was an Islam.

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