WJC condemns UNESCO decision to deem Old City of Hebron site in danger

July 9, 2017 Agencies
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World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder on Friday condemned the decision of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to deem the Old City of Hebron, including the Tomb of the Patriarchs within its parameters, as a ‘site in danger’ through emergency procedure.

Hebron resident David Wilder explains the Cave of the Machpela

The draft resolution passed in a secret ballot with 12 in favor, six abstentions and three opposed.

“The UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s decision to deem the Old City of Hebron a ‘site in danger’ is the latest Palestinian attempt to exploit the UN for political manipulation, and it demonstrates a severe abuse of the emergency mechanism.

“It is disconcerting that UNESCO member states have adopted yet another cynical distortion of reality, a subversive attempt to rewrite history and deem the Old City of Hebron as a Muslim-Palestinian site alone while denying its historic and religious importance to Jews and Christians.

“This egregious resolution is a clear attack on Israel and will only further entrench divisions among all parties.

“The UNESCO Executive Board is set to debate  another ​decision on Jerusalem at its session in October. We hope more members of that board will continue to recognise these biased decisions for what they are and vote against any decision that blindly attacks Israel.”​

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added: “This is another delusional UNESCO decision.

This time they decided that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron is a Palestinian site, meaning that it is not Jewish, and that the site is in danger. Not a Jewish site?! Who is buried there? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah – our patriarchs and matriarchs! And the site is in danger? It is only in those places where Israel is, such as Hebron, that freedom of religion for all is ensured.

In the Middle East, mosques, churches and synagogues in every other place, are being bombed – in places that are not Israel. We will continue to protect the Tomb of the Patriarchs, freedom of religion for all and the truth.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely in response to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee said: “This is a badge of shame for UNESCO which time after time chooses to stand on the side of lies”.
The Deputy Minister added that “In spite of the efforts of senior diplomats in the Foreign Ministry who have tried in the past weeks to thwart the decision that denies history, and despite the achievement of the secret vote, the automatic Arab majority succeeded in passing the proposed resolution that attempts to appropriate the national symbols of the Jewish people. In another thousand years, the Cave of the Patriarchs will remain under Jewish sovereignty and UNESCO will cease to exist as a heritage organization”.
Deputy Minister Hotovely further added “The same automatic majority would also have passed a resolution that the sun rises in the west and not in the east. Israel will not surrender to historic distortion and will continue the fight against the bias of UN institutions regarding Israel.”
Following the resolution passed by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee regarding the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to cut an additional $1 million from the membership funds that Israel pays to the UN and to transfer it to the establishment of “The Museum of the Heritage of the Jewish People in Kiryat Arba and Hebron” and to additional heritage projects related to Hebron. Against UNESCO’s denial of the past, Prime Minister Netanyahu is determined to present to the entire world the historic truth and the Jewish People’s deep connection – of thousands of years – to Hebron.

Comments

One Response to “WJC condemns UNESCO decision to deem Old City of Hebron site in danger”
  1. Larry Stillman says:

    This response and garbage. In particular, read the actual UNESCO documention.

    The bureacuracy is complex, and documents are hard to find.

    So 1) See http://tinyurl.com/ycudbkbu and p. 44

    2) See the background report
    http://whc.unesco.org/…/whc17-41com-inf8B1-Add2-en.pdf

    3) http://whc.unesco.org/archive/2017/whc17-41com-8B-en.pdf

    Item 8 of the Provisional Agenda: Establishment of the World Heritage List and of the List of World Heritage in Danger. 8B. Nominations to the World Heritage List.

    This is the resolution item which links back to (1) above.

    Now is any of this anti-Semitic, denying Jewish links or heritage? Not in the slightest. The significance to both Jews, Muslims and Christians and mentioned several times. The Cave of Machpelah is mentioned. The focus is on the Muslim built enviroment (which includes the Herodian walls of the Mosque) and threats to it by the occupation.

    In the background report ” it is suggested that Al Khalil/Hebron is unique as a religious place that is valued by all three monotheistic religions for similar reasons as the burial place of God’s prophet, Abraham /Ibrahim, his wife Sarah, their sons Isaac and Jacob, and their wives, Rebecca and Leah, while for other holy sites such as Jerusalem, which is also sacred for these three rel igions, the reasons behind these associations are different for each religion. ICOMOS would support this assertion, that the Al -Ibrahimi Mosque/The Tomb of Patriarchs taken alone is an outstanding building for the way it allows three religions to share one set of rites and practices”

    Bibi, quoted in the Jwire report appears to have totally missed this information, going on to say “This time they decided that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron is a Palestinian site, meaning that it is not Jewish, and that the site is in danger. Not a Jewish site?! Who is buried there? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah – our patriarchs and matriarchs! And the site is in danger? It is only in those places where Israel is, such as Hebron, that freedom of religion for all is ensured.”

    He should do his homework.

    So the anti-semitic stuff is a crock.

    You may take the view that Hebron is not occupied, that it isn’t part of Israel, but you can’t dispute the threats to the heritage and life of Hebron in the current situation. Nor can you deny that the UN reports etc take account of Jewish historical/religious interests.

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