The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided last week to relabel as an Islamic mosque the tomb of Rachel, one of Israel’s matriarchs, and demanded that Israel remove the site from its National Heritage list.
UNESCO also said Israel had no right to add the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where most of the rest of Israel’s patriarchs and matriarchs are buried, to the National Heritage list.
Israel responded on Wednesday by suspending all cooperation with UNESCO. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said the suspension will remain in place until UNESCO reverses its decision.
In a statement released last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office decried the ludicrous nature of the UNESCO decision:
“The attempt to detach the Nation of Israel from its heritage is absurd. If the nearly 4,000-year-old burial sites of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish Nation – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah – are not part of its culture and tradition, then what is a national cultural site?”
Sites such as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb (which sits on the edge of Bethlehem) present an inconvenient truth for the pro-Palestine movement and its supporters, who want to claim that the Jews have no historic ties to this land.
Once again, the UN has shown itself to be anything but an impartial broker by ignoring historical evidence and embracing Muslim revisionism.