JERUSALEM, Israel — A United Nations body declared two Jewish biblical holy sites to be Islamic and accused Israel of mistreating Palestinians on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Israel says UNESCO is helping Palestinians to rewrite biblical history and transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious one. UNESCO has become an instrument in the hands of the Arabs and the Palestinians.
The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization passed a resolution last Wednesday declaring the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are an integral part of Palestine. Earlier, they claimed both as mosques.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the declaration helps Palestinians promote their political narrative.
“It is an attempt by the Arab side, and by the Palestinians, to change history and pretend as if those places, which are holy places for Judaism, which have been holy places for Judaism for thousands of years, are actually Palestinian or Muslim holy places,” Nahshon told CBN News.
Historical evidence indicates that the biblical forefathers — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — were buried in the Cave of the Patriarchs, along with their wives.
The site of Rachel’s Tomb is believed to be the burial place of the biblical matriarch, Rachel, the favored wife of Jacob.
The resolution stopped short of including the Western Wall as part of the al-Aksa compound, as Palestinians had hoped. It would have renamed the Western Wall Plaza “al-Buraq,” after Mohammed’s winged horse.
“Even such an organization — such as UNESCO, which has become a puppet in the hands of the Palestinians — there is a limit to what you can do. But I have no doubt that they will try again,” Nahshon said.
The resolution also accuses Israel of “aggression” on the Temple Mount. Yet Palestinians have repeatedly attacked police and visitors to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.
The current wave of terrorism is a reaction to what they say are Israeli attempts to change the status quo. Israel denies any changes there.
“This Palestinian initiative is certainly related to what we live here on the ground — Palestinian violence, Palestinian incitement — and also the attempt to transform a conflict into a religious conflict,” Nahshon explained.
Earlier, Palestinians set fire to the tomb of the biblical patriarch Joseph. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas condemned that arson attack, but Nahshon said it’s a sign of what would happen if Palestinians were in charge.
“The Palestinian arson of Joseph’s Tomb demonstrates very clearly what would be the fate of Jewish holy sites if they were under Palestinian control,” he said.
Dr. Cornelius Bekker, from Regent University, said Christians should care because it’s their history, too.
“The history of Israel is about God’s choice,” Bekker explained. “God chose Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, the very tomb here that’s now been set on fire. And so we feel a kinship with Israel because it’s about God’s choice and it’s our history. Jesus was a Jew, Paul was a Jew, [members of] the early Church were all Jewish.”
– cbn news