Fiamma Nirenstein
Fiamma Nirenstein

UNESCO slams Israel again

If Abu Mazen has a friend, then that person should take him by his jacket lapels and tell him the following: “Hey, stop. Can’t you see that the delegitimization of Israel that you’ve orchestrated through “fake news” and “fake history” won’t work? Why don’t you save yourself the trouble? Can’t you see that Israel talks with Saudi Arabia? Didn’t you see the hugs between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, and don’t you know that this year alone Bibi has met with 230 heads of state? Did you notice that the American pop star Britney Spears was here three nights ago and gave a concert with over 50,000 people in attendance?”

No way: he keeps perpetuating lies with the UNESCO and the UN’s help. Now, UNESCO has again betrayed its role by assigning to the Palestinians the Tomb of the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, along with Sara, Rebecca and Leah in Hebron. It’s incredible: for the third time in a month the United Nation’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has consigned to the Palestinian what is indisputably part of Jewish history and culture for any person possessing basic knowledge. Now Hebron is nothing more than a “Palestinian world heritage site.” This, after UNESCO’s executive board ratified a contentious 2016 resolution in May in which Israel’s capital Jerusalem was not only stripped of its Jewish history, but also declared a Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic site…and called Israel’s presence on the ground solely “occupation.”

It didn’t matter for that resolution if the history of the last 4,000 years has made it part and center of the Jewish soul, no problem if the biblical literature and the memoirs written by Tacitus and Flavius Joseph attest to the Jew’s presence. Now the Jews have been deprived of their second most important site.

The Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs is a moving episode within the Bible, and not the Koran. Abraham deliberately returns to the village of Hebron to bury his wife Sarah and thereafter purchases for the first time in history a piece of land for a burial site in Canaan from Ephron the Hittite.

We’re speaking of times in which Islam wasn’t even in sight, and neither was to King Herod (and not that one responsible for the “massacre of innocents”) when he built a magnificent edifice that still stands today: he was also a Jew. Muhammad arrives on the scene several hundreds of years later, while the Jewish people already were looking upon those graves with reverence.

The philistines of World Heritage who placed themselves alongside the State of Palestine were 12 in favor, while 3 voted against and 6 abstained. Three countries, Poland and Croatia (the sole European countries on the committee together with Finland, but Finland hates Israel as much as it loves ecology), along with Jamaica requested a secret ballot. Several states objected, leading to screams and pushes among members to actually impede it. The USA, Canada and Australia all expressed their opposition to the vote despite not sitting on the commission. The USA, in particular, threatens to withdraw its funds from the UN. Netanyahu has already cut $1 million from the membership fees Israel pays to the United Nations.

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN Riyad al Maliky has little to rejoice about when saying, “The occupation of our state doesn’t grant sovereignty over any part of our land.” History doesn’t recall any Palestinian state except the one invented in order to counter the State of Israel with massacres, terrorism and delegitimation. The wastepaper of UNESCO’s resolutions, together with those of the UN, has overflowed from the garbage bags of history by now.

Meanwhile, consensus grows around the only country that knows how to fight terrorism, that knows how to provide essential technology to the entire world, allows, as in Hebron where Jews weren’t able to approach the tombs of their patriarchs and matriarchs until the Arab occupation, all religions, as occurs today, the right to pray and make decisions about their Holy sites.

Even at the UN the music is about to change and it’s realistic to imagine that these resolutions like the famous one that defined Zionism as Racism will be annulled according to the same realistic reading that today punishes Qatar, flings Modi, literally, into Netanyahu’s arms, and brings to the UN a glimmer of hope like Nikki Haley, the US ambassador who has the vice of speaking the truth.
Translation by Amy K. Rosenthal

This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (July 8, 2017)

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.
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