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May 22, 2015 / 4 Sivan, 5775
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The Palestinians Reveal the Jewish Connection to Palestine

The Palestinians have asked the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO to recognize Battir, a village about 5 miles west of Bethlehem, as a World Heritage Site and add it to the 936 sites already maintained by UNESCO. The city's original name was Betar, the last fortress of Bar Kochba and the name of Jabotinsky's Zionist youth movement.
Jewish Children playing in the streets of Betar (Battir).

Jewish Children playing in the streets of Betar (Battir).
Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90

Betar is a reminder of courage, of fighting against overwhelming odds, of struggle against those who would eliminate Jews, and of self-assertion in pursuit of independence.  By their action, the Palestinians have allowed the international community to become aware of the Jewish history of Betar.  Israelis, confronting the immediate menace of Iran, not to mention the existential threat and the relentless assault by many against their country, can once again evoke the historic lesson of Betar in their response to the danger they face.  That response will now, as in the past, embody the words of Pericles’s great funeral speech: “happiness requires freedom, and freedom requires courage.”

Originally published by the American Thinker.

About the Author: Michael Curtis is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rutgers University, and author of the forthcoming book, Should Israel Exist? A sovereign nation under assault by the international community.


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The Palestinians have asked the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO to recognize Battir, a village about 5 miles west of Bethlehem, as a World Heritage Site and add it to the 936 sites already maintained by UNESCO. The city’s original name was Betar, the last fortress of Bar Kochba and the name of Jabotinsky’s Zionist youth movement.

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