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Friday, October 29, 2010

UNESCO pushes a lie

From the UNESCO site:
• The Palestinian sites of al-Haram al-Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs in al-Khalil/Hebron and the Bilal bin Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem: the Board voted 44 to one (12 abstentions) to reaffirm that the two sites are an integral part of the occupied Palestinian Territories and that any unilateral action by the Israeli authorities is to be considered a violation of international law, the UNESCO Conventions and the United Nations and Security Council resolutions.

Back in March, UNESCO went a little further and referred to "the historic Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque," helpfully putting "Rachel's Tomb" in parentheses.

The only problem is that it is completely false.

As I documented in some detail last year, the name "Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque" was never used before the mid-1990s - even by Arabs! Calling it "the historic Bilal Bin Rabah mosque" is, simply, a lie, and an easily proven one.

For a good example of this, here is a UN document from 1994 where the Arab League is describing Israeli "violations of human rights in the territories:"

[T]he settlers demanded the right to engage in acts of religious worship, like the Muslims, in a number of mosques, including the Ibrahimi Shrine, Joseph's Tomb at Nablus, Nabi Samwil at Jerusalem and Rachel's Tomb at Bethlehem.
Even the Arab League called it Rachel's Tomb a mere sixteen years ago! The only Arabic name for the site has historically been Qubbat Rukhail, or "The Dome of Rachel."

UNESCO is an institution whose entire purpose is meant to foster co-existence based on education, the sciences, and culture. By saying that an undisputed Jewish holy site is primarily a mosque, and only parenthetically a Jewish site, shows its utter disregard for those three fields represented in its name. It is pushing a lie that was created from whole cloth by Muslims to eliminate Jewish history and culture.

It is a travesty of UNESCO's goals to rewrite history in the service of those who want to eradicate Jewish culture from the Middle East.

See also JPost on Netanyahu's reaction.