Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

{Originally posted to The Lid website}

On Friday, the United Nations’ UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) reiterated its hatred of the Jewish people by denying their biblical connection to the City of Hebron, which includes the Tomb of the Patriarchs, purchased nearly four millennia ago by the patriarch Abraham. The purchase was made to bury his wife Sarah. Twelve countries voted in favor of the Palestinian request to name Hebron a Palestinian heritage site, while only three voted against it. Six countries abstained.


This  resolution, like last years UNESCO action about Jerusalem and the Temple Mount has only one purpose, to delegitimize Israel by denying the Jewish connection to the Holy Land. At its heart this resolution is not simply directed at Israel, but at all Jews everywhere (and anyone else who believes in the Five Books of Moses). Next to Jerusalem, Hebron is the holiest city in the Jewish faith.

Israel will reject Friday’s anti-Semitic resolution, as they did the one last year which named the Temple Mount a Palestinian heritage site. Already the Jerusalem Post reports:

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely described the vote as a “badge of shame for UNESCO, which time after time prefers to stand with the side of lies.”

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman reacted to the vote by describing UNESCO as a “politically-biased, embarrassing and antisemitic organization.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett also criticized the vote. “It is disappointing and disgraceful that, time and again, UNESCO denies history and distorts reality, knowingly serving those attempting to erase the Jewish state,” said Bennett. “Israel will not resume its cooperation with UNESCO so long as it remains a political tool, rather than professional organization.”

Chairperson of Israeli party Yesh Atid Yair Lapid also responded, saying, “UNESCO’s decision to recognize the Cave of Patriarchs as a Palestinian heritage site is a despicable falsification of history. Does UNESCO not believe that the Bible is heritage? It’s a decision that, at best, stems from utter ignorance and, at worst, from hypocrisy and antisemitism.”

Please understand this resolution not only rejects Jewish heritage, but the heritage of every Christian who believes in the “Old Testament.” As described in Genesis chapter 23, before Abraham purchase the land that became the Cave of the Patriarchs, he first rejected the Hittites’ offer to receive the land as a gift. Eventually  he overpaid for the land so there would never be a doubt or a complaint that it is Jewish-owned territory. Therefore any Christian who accepts Friday’s UNESCO decision is denying their own heritage as well as that of the Jews.

Hebron’s been a Jewish city since biblical times (with a break from 1929-1967). It was first land ever purchased by the Jews in Israel. Approximately 38 centuries ago Avraham (Abraham) commonly known as the founder of the Jewish faith purchased a cave in Hebron to bury his beloved wife Sarah (see Genesis Chapter 23). Eventually Abraham’s son Isaac and his wife Rebekah, Jacob and one of his wives Leah, and Esau’s head (long story) were also buried in the cave.  The Jews had owned that land in the city from that sale of the cave to Abraham, until they were massacred and force out by Arab terrorists in 1929. The  majority of the population most of that time was people of the Jewish faith. From that massacre until the Six-Day-War in 1967,  Hebron was a Jewish city occupied by the Arabs.

Hebron’s Arab occupation began on a  Friday evening in August 88 years ago when a group of Arab terrorists massacred the Jews of the city while the British (who ruled over the Holy Land) knew what was happening but didn’t lift a finger to prevent the carnage.

Davar newspaper of August 20, 1929 reported:

Incitement of feeling against the Jews goes on, particularly round Jerusalem and Hebron. Rumors are being spread by unknown persons that on Saturday last the Jews cursed the Moslem religion and that it is the duty of Moslems to take revenge.


Rabbi Ya’acov Slonim, head of the Sephardic Jewish community, and Rabbi Frank, head of the Ashkenazic community, turned to the Arab Governor of Hebron, Abdullah Kardos. The Governor calmed us and said:


`There is no fear of anything happening. The British Government knows what it has to do. In the place where two soldiers are needed, it sends six.” And he added: “I tell you in confidence that they have many soldiers in the streets, in civilian clothes; these soldiers circulate among the crowds, and in the hour of need they will fulfill their duty.’‘ 

But that promise was never backed up with action.

“At about half past two on Friday (August 23) we saw a young Arab arrive by motorcycle from Jerusalem. He alarmed the Arab inhabitants of Hebron, saying that the blood of thousands of Moslems in Jerusalem was being shed like water. He called to the Arabs to avenge this blood. The unrest among the Arabs of Hebron was very strong, particularly after the motor cars began to arrive from Jerusalem with news of disturbances.”

On Friday night  Rabbi Ya’acov Slonim’s son invited any fearful Jews to stay in his house. The Rabbi was highly regarded in the community, and he had a gun. Many Jews took him up on this offer, and most of those Jews were murdered in his home


On Saturday morning, before the slaughter began, the Rabbis again appealed to the Governor for help. Again they received the same astounding assurances. Bewildered, the Jews turned to Mr. Cafferata, the British officer in charge of the Police. From him, too, they received assurances of safety.

As early as 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, Arabs began to gather en masse. They came in mobs, armed with clubs, knives and axes. While the women and children threw stones, the men ransacked Jewish houses and destroyed Jewish property. With only a single police officer in Hebron, the Arabs entered Jewish courtyards with no opposition.

Rabbi Slonim, who had tried to shelter the Jewish population, was approached by the rioters and offered a deal. If all the Ashkenazi yeshiva students were given over to the Arabs, the rioters would spare the lives of the Sephardi community. Rabbi Slonim refused to turn over the students and was killed on the spot. In the end, 12 Sephardi Jews and 55 Ashkenazi Jews were murdered.

Some of the Jewish Children Injured in the Hebron Massacre

There was no Jewish State of Israel back then, only Jews….so what was their excuse?

“On hearing screams in a room I went up a sort of tunnel passage and saw an Arab in the act of cutting off a child’s head with a sword. He had already hit him and was having another cut, but on seeing me he tried to aim the stroke at me, but missed; he was practically on the muzzle of my rifle. I shot him low in the groin. Behind him was a Jewish woman smothered in blood with a man I recognized as a[n Arab] police constable named Issa Sherif from Jaffa in mufti. He was standing over the woman with a dagger in his hand. He saw me and bolted into a room close by and tried to shut me out-shouting in Arabic, ‘Your Honor, I am a policeman.’ … I got into the room and shot him.” (Bernard Wasserstein, The British in Palestine: The Mandatory Government and the Arab-Jewish Conflict 1917-1929, Oxford England, Basil Blackwell, 1991)


“Now let me tell you about the massacre. Right after eight o’clock in the morning we heard screams. Arabs had begun breaking into Jewish homes. The screams pierced the heart of the heavens. We didn’t know what to do. Our house had two floors. We were downstairs and a doctor lived on the second floor. We figured that we would be safe in the doctor’s apartment, but how could we get up there? The stairs were on the outside of the building, but it wasn’t safe to go out. So we chopped through the ceiling and that way we climbed up to the doctor’s house. Well, after being there only a little while, we realized that we were still in danger because by that time the Arabs had almost reached our house. They were going from door to door, slaughtering everyone who was inside. The screams and the moans were terrible. People were crying Help! Help! But what could we do? There were thirty‑three of us. Soon, soon, all of us would be lost.” Letter of a Survivor

When the massacre finally ended, the surviving Jews resettled in Jerusalem. Some Jewish families tried to move back to Hebron, but were removed by the British authorities in 1936 at the start of the Arab revolt. In 1948, the War of Independence granted Israel statehood, but further cut the Jews off from Hebron, as the city was captured and officially occupied by King Abdullah’s Arab Legion and ultimately annexed to Jordan.

When Jews finally gained control of the city in 1967, a small number of massacre survivors again tried to reclaim their old houses. Then defense minister Moshe Dayan told the survivors that if they returned, they would be arrested, and that they should be patient while the government worked out a solution to get their houses back. Dayan never got around to it–I guess he was too busy giving away Jewish rights to the Temple Mount.

The Memorial of the Jews of Hebron, as submitted to the High Commissioner of Palestine closes with these tragic words:

In the name of sixty-five slaughtered, fifty-eight wounded, and many orphans and widows; in the name of the remnants of the plundered and tortured we accuse:

  • The [British Mandatory] Government, which did not fulfill its duty and provide protection for its peaceful and defenceless charges.
  • The Governor, Abdullah Kardos, and the Commander, Cafferata, who deprived us of the means of appealing for help and defence, betrayed us with empty promises and gave the murderers and robbers their opportunity.
  • The police, which did not fulfill its duty, and behaved with contemptible baseness.
  • The emissaries of the Mufti and the Moslem Council, in particular the Sheikh Talib Narka and his colleagues, those mentioned above, as well as those who have not been mentioned, who proclaimed the massacre and permitted murder and rape.
  • Also the inhabitants of Hebron (with the exception of some families) who did not rise up to help their brothers and neighbors in accordance with the commandments of the Koran…

On that Sabbath in 1929 the first Jewish city became occupied territory. And the Jews of Israel and worldwide learned that they cannot rely on anyone else for protection. A lesson that was reinforced during the Holocaust by FDR and Churchill.

Some 88 years later that memorial still rings true.The United Nations, which was formed in the wake of WWII and the attempted Nazi genocide of the Jews, now commits Antisemitism in its own name. Friday’s Hebron vote was just one more example. Their anti-Israel actions are simply Antisemitism dressed in nicer clothes.  In recent years  there were stabbing victims bleeding in the streets of Israel, and just like 1929 Hebron, just like murder of six million Jews in Nazi Germany, the world watched and did nothing. Even today when terrorists are captured and put in jail, the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority pays them and/or their family for murderous service–just as the British did in 1929, the world body sits back and watches the violence, and then encourages it with resolutions like the UNESCO vote about Hebron.

The video below explains more about the biblical history of Hebron.