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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

UNESCO's Islamicization of Maimonides

YNet has a damning article by Giulio Meotti about UNESCO that makes a very good case that the agency is actively engaging in a fight against Israel, and even against Jewish culture and history - especially if that history happened to occur on the "wrong side" of an imaginary green line.

The Arabs find it difficult to convincingly portray Israel as usurper of the land as long as the world believes there is a huge connection between the people of the Bible and the land of the Bible. UNESCO is denying this connection by depicting Jewish history in the Middle East as no more than an insignificant, brief sojourn by arrogant colonizers.

UNESCO appears to deny that the Jewish people has laid its roots in Israel more than 4,000 years ago, or that 1,000 years before Christ, King David made Jerusalem the Jewish city par excellence, never entirely abandoned even in times of deadly persecution.

The City of David in Jerusalem, a major target of UNESCO’s anti-Jewish fury, is now the hottest open archaeological site in the world, with biblical artifacts, ancient burial spots and royal seals. There, UNESCO is using archeology to bash Israel and treats Israeli archeologists as nationalistic martinets.

In recent years, UNESCO increased its collaboration with ISESCO, the cultural body of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. According to ISESCO’s propaganda, the Biblical story and the Jewish temples are only fiction, Jewish monuments are Islamic treasures stolen by the Zionists, and Israeli archeological works are criminal acts against Muslims.

UNESCO’s ideology portrays the Jews as no more than invading colonizers, while the Muslims who invaded the country and ravaged it in the Seventh Century are, by some inexplicable leap, the descendants of the so called "indigenous Canaanites."

In 2010, UNESCO decided that Rachel’s Tomb and Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs are “Muslim mosques.” Western countries didn't raise any protest. UNESCO never mentioned that in addition to the famous Tomb of the biblical Patriarchs, Hebron contains also the tomb of the first judge (Otniel Ben Kenaz), the tomb of generals and confidants to Saul and David and the tombs of Ruth and Jesse, David’s great-grandmother and father. There is also no word by UNESCO about the fact that Rachel’s tomb is unanimously revered as the burial site of one of the Bible’s great women, the wife of Jacob, the Jewish blessed mother.

During the Second Intifada, UNESCO condemned Israel for “the destruction and damage caused to the cultural heritage in the Palestinian territories” as “a crime against the common cultural heritage of humanity.” However, UNESCO remained silent when a Palestinian mob destroyed Joseph’s tomb, a major Jewish religious shrine, and built a mosque on the site.

Upon the outbreak of the Second Intifada, Palestinian terrorists also attacked Rachel’s tomb, and for 41 days Jews were prevented from visiting the compound. UNESCO never condemned it. Recently, dozens of graves at the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem were vandalized, the latest in a series of attacks on Judaism’s oldest cemetery, where Jews have been buried since biblical times. Again, UNESCO remained silent.

This one part of the article was stunning to me:
On a final note, a recent UNESCO report on science, Jewish physician and theologian Maimonides is classified as a Muslim named “Moussa ben Maimoun.” So the Rambam - for Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon – has been forced to “convert” to Islam by the UN’s revisionist historians.

During the Middle Ages, the French Inquisition confiscated and burned Maimonides's books. From the elegant Parisian boulevards, UNESCO’s inquisitors are now following the same dreadful solution of rendering history and the Holy Land "Judenrein."
I asked Meotti for the document where UNESCO calls Maimonides (the Rambam) a Muslim, and after a bit of searching we found it. It was in the French version of a December 2010 report on science in the Arab world by Adnan Badran:

Une fois Tolède reprise aux Maures par les croisés en 1085, les savants européens y affluèrent afin de traduire les anciens textes classiques du grec (que l’Europe avait oubliés) vers l’arabe et l’hébreu, puis le latin, rendant ce la première partie du Moyen Âge européen (1100-1543), les noms de quelques savants européens apparaissaient dans la littérature scientifique à côté d’un grand nombre de savants musulmans, parmi lesquels Ibn Rushd (Averroès), Moussa ibn Maïmoun (Maïmonide), Tousi et Ibn Nafis.

After the recovery of Toledo from the Moors by the Crusaders in 1085, European scholars flocked there to translate the ancient classical texts from the Greek (which Europe had forgotten) to Arabic and Hebrew and Latin, making it the first part of the European Middle Ages (1100-1543), the names of some European scholars appeared in scientific literature next to a large number of Muslim scholars, including Ibn Rushd (Averroes), Maimouna Ibn Moussa (Maimonides), Tousi and Ibn Nafis.
This is in marked contrast to how UNESCO used to act. In 1986, it organized a roundtable to celebrate the 850th anniversary of Maimonides' birth, and dedicated an entire issue of its cultural magazine to Maimonides and Averroes that same year where his Jewish roots are emphasized. In that issue they mention that he is known as The Rambam and they say his name was Moses ben Maymun.

That began to change as UNESCO started de-emphasizing his Judaism. In their description of Cordoba, for example, he is referred to as "Musa-ibn-Maymun."

And now - he is a Muslim.

This isn't the usual anti-Zionism that we come to expect from the UN. This is a consistent pattern of the denial of Jewish history and culture. In other words - this is UN-sanctioned anti-semitism.