Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen said the following concerning Israel’s refusal to allow UNESCO to come to Hebron on a fact finding mission:
“As a matter of principle, Israel will not provide legitimization to any Palestinian political move under the guise of culture and heritage.”
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee is set to meet from July 2-12 in Krakow, Poland, for its annual assembly. Listed on the agenda is Hebron as ‘Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town, Palestine.’ Given the fact that UNESCO has already denied the connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount and Western Wall area, there is little doubt that the international body would not refrain from continuing to rewrite history.
Shama-Hacohen described the Palestinian request as “tainted by politicization, lies and libel against the State of Israel and against the Jewish people’s connection to the site… the Palestinians have opened another front in the religious and cultural war they are trying to impose on us.”
Jewish Connection to Hebron is Ancient
From the time Abraham bought the double cave from the Ephron as a family burial site in Hebron, the city has served as the foundational place for Israel and the Jewish people whether in the Land or exiled. From King David’s time onward, the burial cave became a site of increased pilgramages. By the Second Temple period, King Herod had to build a giant structure above the cave to service the many Jews who came to visit. This monument/building is the oldest Jewish still standing free structure in the world and can be seen by all who come to Hebron. It was built 650 years before a single Arab stepped foot in Hebron.
Long before the Arabs came to Hebron, the Jewish community thrived and grew and existed in the city well after the Muslim conquest of Israel in the 7th Century. In fact a groups of Jews who had fled the Spanish Inquisition settled in Hebron and revived the failing community.
There they lived until 1929 when the Arabs went on a rampage massacring the Jews of the city, effectively rendering Hebron Judenrein. Jews tried returning after the massacre but were pushed out completely in 1936 as part of a series of Arab riots across Israel. It was not until 1967 when Israel liberated the city that Jews began to come back to their ancient residences.
Today the city is thriving, with young couples and children spread throughout multiple neighborhoods.
The idea that Hebron is a “Palestinian” city is presposterous, but then again when it comes to Jews UNESCO believes in fake history.
So Why Do the Palestinians Insist on Claiming Hebron?
The Palestinians being an amalgamation of various people who migrated into Israel at different times, have no collective or historical national experience. There only long term chance at winning a war against the rightful indigenous nation is to deny that nation (Israel) a connection to the Land. Hebron is key for this strategy as it is part and parcel of Israel’s claim to the entire Land of Israel. Afterall, not only Jews agree that Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, and Leah are buried there, but Christians and many moderate Muslims do as well.
So the Palestinians must attack the roots of our nation and Hebron is the ultimate place to start. Afterall, if we are denied a connection to our patriarchs and matriarchs, then who are we?
Israel banned UNESCO from Hebron, because the upcoming vote has nothing to do with creating peace or ensuring the Palestinians have individual rights (national rights would be a farce), it has only one aim and that is an assault on a very clear historical truth.
David Ben Gurion said the following about Hebron:
“However, don’t forget: the beginnings of Israel’s greatest king were in Hebron, the city to which came the first Hebrew about eight hundred years before King David, and we will make a great and awful mistake if we fail to settle Hebron, neighbor and predecessor of Jerusalem, with a large Jewish settlement, constantly growing and expanding, very soon. This will also be a blessing to the Arab neighbors. Hebron is worthy to be Jerusalem’s sister.”
Just two weeks I went with my son and his class to the Cave of the Patriarchs. On the side of the Herodian structure was a place that marked the furthest Jews were allowed to go when the site was run by Arabs. There, as if marking the place where Jewish tears yearned for centuries to have full regained access to our second holiest site is a hole, which was blocked up until after the city was liberated 50 years ago. This hole leads into the cavern containing the tombs of our patriarchs and matriarchs.
Our connection to Hebron is beyond historical or political or even religious. We are bound to Hebron by way of eternal deed. No UNESCO vote can change that. In fact our deed will long outlast UNESCO or any other international body that warps history and seeks to sever the connection between the Jewish people and their Land.