Sharren Haskel

A war on history and religion

UNESCO on Thursday passed a resolution that omits Judaism’s historic connection to the Temple Mount and casts doubt on the link between Judaism and the Western Wall. The resolution includes a special section dealing with the Temple Mount, stating only that the site is sacred to Muslims and failing to mention that it is sacred to the Jews as well.

The resolution, which was submitted by Arab countries at the behest of the Palestinian Authority, is yet another blatant attempt by the Palestinians to strip Jews of their history and identity. More than that, it is another example of how the UN is a mere front for anti Israel sentiment and is part of the ongoing propaganda war the Palestinians are waging against Israel.

We all know that a tree cannot grow without its roots; and Arab propagandists believe that Israel without its history and heritage has no future. Renouncing the Jewish character of Jerusalem and its unbreakable bond to the Jewish People only serves to fuel the Palestinians’ desire to obliterate the Jewish future in the Middle East. The deep Jewish ties to the holy sites in Jerusalem and its surroundings are undeniable and no decision by UNESCO can alter that.

After years of all out war, terrorism and violence, Palestinian and anti-Israeli organizations have realized they cannot defeat the State of Israel. Instead they are putting their efforts into challenging the legitimacy and the very right of the Jewish People to self-determination in their ancient homeland. The effort includes the passing of resolutions against Israel in international forums, rewriting of history and the spreading of libelous accusations through social media networks and media among other things. They are trying to create the impression that the State of Israel is no more than a fixture of western colonialism that decided one morning to take over the geographical strip between Africa and Asia. This is the same reason Chairman Mahmoud Abbas raised the farcical idea to sue the British government for the Balfour Declaration.

These actions simply prove that the Palestinians do not want to live with the Jews in peaceful coexistence, but rather want to live in this land in place of Israel. The Palestinians under Abbas’s rule, will try any way other than negotiations, as that requires compromise, which the Palestinians are not willing to accept. For them, there is no end to the conflict until they achieve their ultimate goal, which is the creation of a “Greater Palestine” that includes all the area recognized as the State of Israel.

The Arab refusal to accept or recognize the Jewish right to self determination goes back to their refusal to accept the partition resolution of 1947 by the UN, the Palestinians tried to reverse the declaration through wars, dozens of rounds of aggression and thousands of terror attacks, supported by Arab countries and terrorist organizations to intimidate and scare Israel by force and blood.

Truth be told: none of the countries that signed peace agreements with Israel (Egypt and Jordan) have suffered by accepting its existence, in fact the opposite has occurred — peace is a strategic asset for them, with advantages for both countries. However the Palestinian leadership, throughout the generations, never gave up their dream of eliminating Israel. To this end they have held Palestinian civilians hostage, destroyed their present and denied them their future.

The latest attack is absurd as it is not just an attack they have launched against the Jews, it is an attack against Christians and Christian history in Jerusalem. If Jewish history can be eliminated from Jerusalem, guess which religion comes next?

In 1948, the Palestinians, like Israel, were offered the opportunity by the UN to gain an independent state, by dividing the area into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. They chose instead to recruit and mobilize the Muslim countries to go to war in the hope of occupying the entire territory and expelling the Jews. They were disappointed then, and find themselves today in a different reality than the one they had hoped. The result of their attempt to rewrite the history of the Jewish people today, will be disappointing as well.

This new strategy of ‘religious’ or ‘historical`revision war that we are facing today is dangerous, as it threatens our religion, history, and the very fabric of coexistence. As history has shown, if the Palestinians start such a war with Israel they may lose a lot more than what they hoped to gain.

I do believe there are those who are interested in peaceful coexistence with Israel, struggling under daily reality and hoping for a better future. I hope that it is not long before Palestinians recognize the ongoing historical mistake of refusing peace, and demand of their leadership, both in Gaza and the West Bank, to end their ongoing slide towards war, and to stop undermining the legitimacy of Israel’s existence.

The adoption of this disgraceful resolution by UNESCO simply serves as yet another subterfuge in the descent of the UN into ethical bankruptcy. It perpetuates the extent to which parties of the UN have allowed their racist agendas to be influenced by autocratic, anti-democratic bodies that have driven the entire UN system into a moral abyss.

Most disappointing was to see countries who stood silent again on Thursday as the Arab world tried to rewrite Jewish history and the Jewish religion. It is disappointing that countries like France, Italy, Sweden and Spain abstained. Such events remind me of what Elie Wiesel wrote “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.”

Sharren Haskel is a Member of Knesset in the Likud Party and a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

About the Author
Sharren Haskel is a Member of Knesset in the Likud Party.