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Shimon Samuels
Shimon Samuels

Palestinian “Intifada Embroidery”on UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

An Open Letter to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay

Madam Director-General,

“Palestine” entered UNESCO in November 2011 to launch mayhem and I.D. theft. Since 2012, Jewish and Christian heritage have been trampled and stolen to validate a Palestinian narrative.

Annually, this “non-State” had demanded and received as “Palestinian heritage”:

– The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, birthplace of Christianity. One of its three custodians told this writer that their signatures had been forged on a letter “welcoming” Palestinization, presented to the World Heritage Committee. This theft has been followed  by dubbing Jesus as “a Palestinian” and then year by year:

– The Tomb of Rachel, transformed into a Mosque;

– The Cave of the Patriarchs (Machpela) in Hebron;

– The Western Wall, or Kotel – Judaism’s holiest site – renamed “the Buraq Wall”, where Muhammad tethered his horse (Buraq) during his night flight to Heaven;

– The renaming of the Temple Mount as “Al Haram Al Sharif” (the Noble Sanctuary of Islam) in a campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem, rather than acknowledge its shared significance.

Madam Director-General, you had expressed your resolve to “depoliticize” UNESCO. Sadly, in the case of “Palestine’s” World Heritage, you and UNESCO have been tricked.

In 2016, “the Palestinian Museum” was opened in Birzeit, near Ramallah. The Curator wished to focus on culture and display typical Palestinian dress and accoutrements. The Chairman refused, calling for the Museum to serve as an instrument of propaganda and war.

Madam Director-General, last week, UNESCO inscribed Palestinian “Tetreez Embroidery” to its Intangible Cultural Heritage List. This was then adulterated, renamed as “Intifada Embroidery.”  See link:  https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/palestinian-embroidery-from-a-symbol-of-resistance-to-unesco-heritage-52700

Intifada is a term denoting the violent “uprising” that has twice brought terror to Israel and Jewish communities worldwide.

We urge you to call on the Cultural Heritage Committee to cancel this Palestinian glorification of hate and violence.

Interestingly, the Palestinian heritage wish-list includes a demand for the Dead Sea Scrolls – ancient (3rd century BCE) Jewish religious manuscripts. Another case of I.D. theft.

About the Author
Shimon Samuels is Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He has served as Deputy Director of the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, European Director of ADL, and Israel Director of AJC. He was born in UK and studied in UK, Israel, U.S. and Japan.
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