The latest casualty in the name of Middle East peace is a UNESCO exhibition with the self-explanatory title “The People, the Book, the Land — 3,500 years of ties between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel”. The exhibition was cancelled just 3 days before its scheduled opening in Paris. The reason: pressure from the Arab members of UNESCO (i.e. the Arab League) who are not willing to hear about the connection between the Jews and the land.
Political conflicts blur history. Impartial historical or archeological research is impossible under political scrutiny. Nevertheless, the Arabs should be applauded for their audacity: It so happens that this specific historic conclusion, the Jewish connection to the land of Israel, is at the heart of the Judeo-Christian civilization, is advertised from the pages of the world’s best selling book - the Bible (regardless of one’s religiosity), and is evident by countless archeological findings exhibited in museum all over the world such as the British Museum. The discussed connection is beyond scrutiny. It’s simply history. The Arab campaign to erase it is some 3000 years too late.
But the Arabs are at it - no matter what. In 1967 Israel took over the old city of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall - the holiest of sites for Judaism. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, in a dramatic and surprising decision, decided to leave the control over this holiest of sites at the hands of the Waqf, the Muslim religious authority that had previously controlled the area under Jordanian rule (1948-1967). But this decision, in retrospect, has not been used to further religious coexistence, on the contrary: the Waqf, backed by the infamous threats of destructive, global Muslim rage, has positioned itself at the forefront of historical rewriting. The climax was the wholesale destruction of Jewish findings, thousands of years old, which the Waqf had dug-up from the holy site under the protection of their holiness.
As it too often happens, Muslim holiness is tainted by unholy political objectives. Out of the many Arab and Muslim crimes against the Jewish people and the Jewish state, the destruction of priceless historical findings for political end is the one that enrages me, personally, the most. You should be enraged as well, whether you’re Jewish or not, for the selfish carelessness and lack of concern and respect expressed here towards history, heritage, civilization and humanity. I would compare it to a hypothetical destruction of findings at the Roman Colosseum, or the Greek Parthenon and so on, but the comparison would be incomplete, since no one seeks to delete Roman history, or cancel out the legacy of ancient Greek. But someone is definitely out to undo the history of the Jewish people. The closest comparison I can find, therefore, is the Taliban’s destruction of the enormous Buddha sculptures in Bamyian, Afghanistan.
The Palestinians outdo the rest in the pursuit of lies. This past Christmas Eve, in Bethlehem itself, Mahmoud Abbas claimed that Jesus was a Palestinian, (creating a whole new meaning to the Christian moral guide embodied in the question: “What would Jesus do?”). It’s impossible not to mock the nonsensical context in which the Palestinians perceive their nationalism, while remembering with alarm that the same Mahmoud Abbas is a legit player in the world scene - a status not changed by his offensive Christmas message - a distinguished guest of world leaders, and the man who Secretary Kerry is trying to push towards peace.
It’s this very peace process, in fact, that the Arab League claims to be concerned about. In a January 14th letter to UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova, the group said: “The Arab group is deeply disturbed by the exhibition, which it condemns ... This cause [showing the Jewish connection to Israel - AB] is championed by those who oppose peace efforts ... [and] the incessant efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry...” Indeed, in her cancellation announcement, Bokova explained that “...The decision arose out of UNESCO’s support for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority...”
And so it is spun that the Arab rewriting of history is done for the sake of peace; Siding with the truth is an act of peace-opposers. Et voila: Complete inversion achieved, once again.
The Palestinian cause has crossed many red lines in its history, here’s another one to note: The politicization of truth and facts leads to a situation where supporting truth and facts becomes a political act. If this is the way of the world from now on, than get ready to be able to say nothing at all without being political - another disaster brought to you courtesy of the Palestinian just struggle.
UNESCO is the UN body in charge of world heritage, but it is willing to play along with Arab denial of Jewish heritage. The organization’s track record shows that it is fully hijacked by the Arab and Muslim obsession to undo Israel, making even the pathetic UN Commission of Human Rights look somewhat functional.
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