Born out of the bloodstained battlefields and death camps of World War II, the United Nations was established as the godfather of international peace and human rights. But that description is a far cry from today’s reality. UNESCO, the United Nation’s intellectual arm for cultural peace and unity, has proven repeatedly that it only takes a few votes to rewrite history.
Over the last few months UNESCO has passed resolution after resolution aimed at erasing Israel’s history and denying her claim to Jerusalem, the crown jewel of the Jewish people. Take, for example, October’s resolution, which denied Judaism’s connection to the Temple Mount, or May’s resolution, which denied Israel’s claim to any part of Jerusalem, to this month’s resolutions, which deny any Jewish connection to the Old City of Jerusalem and call Israel an “occupying” power.
It is abundantly clear that UNESCO has a disturbing bias against Israel. After UNESCO’s latest vote, which denies Israel’s claim to the Tombs of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon properly identified what UNESCO is doing : “They are trying to rewrite Jewish history and the history of the region.” UNESCO’s refusal to acknowledge the undeniable Jewish tie to their land, most importantly Jerusalem, is a blatant revision of history, against UNESCO’s mission, and feeds the insatiable appetite for terror against Jews living in Israel.
Yes, Jerusalem Is Historically Jewish
UNESCO’s refusal to identify Jerusalem with Israel denies both archaeological evidence and the city’s spiritual importance to the Jewish people. The existence of Jewish ties to Jerusalem, most importantly to the Temple Mount, the holiest site of Judaism, is beyond question. Although the Temple Mount has never been excavated, scholars have found ancient inscriptions that were once on the second temple’s dividing wall, warning non-Jews of the spiritual dangers of entering this holy place.
But never mind this physical evidence of the Old City’s Jewish identity, or the hundreds of Mikvehs near the site declaring it the ancient and modern spiritual hub of Israel. We don’t have to rely on the Jewish state to tell her own history. Just ask the Romans.
The Arch of Titus in Rome depicts the plundering of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., and even depicts the Menorah being whisked away. But even if someone were to just write this off as ancient Zionist propaganda, the Supreme Muslim Council also affirms the Jewish people’s ancient ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. In 1925, the council published “A Brief Guide to al-Haram al Sharif,” saying the site’s “identity with Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute” and dates “back as much as 5000 years” So, although UNESCO’s refusal to identify Jerusalem with the Jewish State is a byproduct of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, history and truth speak loudest.
This Countermands UNESCO’s Mission of Peace
The resolution is also a direct offense to UNESCO’s vision of peace because delegitimizing the Jewish state does nothing to reduce the conflict. In fact, it is likely to do the opposite, and escalate this conflict by legitimizing false claims used to bolster grievances. UNESCO says it strives to “build networks among nations” and facilitate “intercultural understanding.” This resolution does none of the above. It fosters more division by excluding and delegitimizing Palestinians’ only partner in peace.
Israel, the second half of the peace negotiations table, has been quite literally blotted out, refused to be called by its name, and unfairly dubbed the “occupying power.” The delegitimization of Israel in this resolution is only one of many attempts to usurp the Jewish identity ever since Palestine joined UNESCO five years ago.
Palestine has constantly laid claim to monuments of pieces of Jewish history like Rachel’s tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs. There is no “network” building or “intercultural understanding” here. Only the intellectual war on an entire people’s culture and a sad excuse for “peace-making.”
This Kind of Action Inspires Terrorism
The resolution is exactly the type of intellectual mantra that inspires terrorism against Jews. The resolution delegitimizes Israel’s very existence by naming it the “occupying power” and aggressor. By further erasing Israel’s connection to her holiest city, the resolution legitimizes every Palestinian “freedom fighter’s” deadly plight.
It legitimizes Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas’s delusion that Jews have no claim to Israel’s land. They are mere occupiers, a force that must be broken at the cost of their own blood. UNESCO’s mission is “building peace in the minds of men and women.” But that cannot happen when men and women’s minds are poisoned with lies.
Terror starts with a lie. This resolution legitimizes every stone thrown and every knife wielded against Jews over Jerusalem. Terror does not begin on some distant battlefield, but in the mind. Unfortunately, this time it is in the mind of hateful world leaders who speak the loudest in government ministries and international committees, and it is always nothing short of unacceptable. If you want to destroy the future of an entire people, start with their history.