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Palestinians Destroying as Much of Israel’s Jewish History as They Can
And UNESCO’s deafening silence.
By Hugh Fitzgerald
UNESCO has rewritten history in the Land of Israel before. It has declared the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism — which it refers to only by its Arabic name, Al-Haram Al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) — as an exclusively Muslim holy site. And now Jericho is about to be given similar treatment by UNESCO, its significance in the history of the Jews ignored, while the fact that the city is now populated entirely by Palestinians will lead UNESCO to ignore thousands of years of its Jewish history and to describe it as an exclusively “Palestinian heritage site.” “Is UNESCO Going to Erase Jewish History From Another Israeli City?,” by Justin Amler, Algemeiner, September 8, 2023:
Jericho is considered the world’s oldest city, and is most famous from the Bible as the first city that Joshua conquered when the Israelites entered the land of Canaan after 40 years in the desert. Today, the ancient site of Jericho contains ruins of synagogues that are thousands of years old, where mosaics inscribed with Hebrew writings have been discovered. This is unequivocal archaeological evidence of the historical Jewish presence in the ancient city….
UNESCO will no doubt ignore those ancient and venerable ruined synagogues, and their mosaics with Hebrew writings; it simply ignores any evidence of a Jewish presence in the places it has decided to declare are “Palestinian heritage sites.”
For many years, Palestinian leaders have openly stated that no Jewish Temple ever existed in Jerusalem — even though numerous ancient non-Jewish sources, including Muslim writings, as well as archaeology, prove this beyond any doubt. As recently as May of this year, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas stated in a speech at the UN that there is no proof of any Jewish ties to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, saying archaeologists dug everywhere and couldn’t find anything.
Archeologists did indeed find thousands of Jewish artifacts of all kinds in the hundreds of tons of earth that the Palestinians excavated from the Temple Mount. But Mahmoud Abbas lies about everything — why wouldn’t he lie about this? After all, he also told the UN Security Council “we are the descendants of the Canaanites that lived in the land 5,000 years ago.” He’s a mythomane, with a vivid oriental imagination.
Yasser Arafat said the same thing during the Camp David Summit in 2000. In 2015, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, said in an interview with Israeli TV that there has never been a Jewish house of worship on the Temple Mount, instead claiming that it had been home to a mosque “from the creation of the world” — despite Islam existing for far less time than the creation of the world….
Not only Abbas, but both Arafat in 2000 and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 2015 denied the existence of the First and Second Temples. All those menorahs, candlesticks, tools, pottery shards, utensils, and coins that have been unearthed are simply ignored by the Palestinians — and by UNESCO. So are the descriptions of both temples that Jewish, Greek, and Roman historians have left to posterity; Jewish history is being systematically erased by the Palestinians. But why must UNESCO play such a sinister role in this ghastly farce?
In September 2021, a 65-page document released by the Shilo Forum and the Shomrim al HaNetzach organization, a watchdog group dedicated to protecting Israel’s archaeological treasures, examined a selection of important national and cultural Jewish archaeological and historical sites in the West Bank. The report found that of the 365 sites examined, a staggering 289 had been damaged or destroyed, including sites dating back to Biblical times, as well as those from the Second Temple era.
The Palestinians have been deliberately destroying as much of Israel’s Jewish history as they can, smashing artifacts, and the remains of ancient synagogues, uncovered by Israeli archeologists. The scale of such destruction has been shocking. UNESCO has said nothing about this continuing orgy of destruction of Jewish sites by the Palestinians. Can it really not have noticed?
Here’s an idea: last June, the US agreed to rejoin UNESCO and to pay back dues of $600 million. Now it should announce that if UNESCO goes ahead and declares Jericho to be a “Palestinian heritage site” the Americans will again leave UNESCO, and will not pay whatever part of that promised $600 million is still outstanding. No moral appeal will change UNESCO’s behavior, but a threat to UNESCO’s bank account will get the attention of that organization, and possibly persuade it to change its history-falsifying ways.
Image Credit: © Chelovek