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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘UNESCO’

Russian MP Affirms Jews’ Temple Mount Ties, Foreign Minister Calls Israel’s UNESCO Reaction ‘Over the Top’

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

A delegation of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday held meetings at the Russian Federation Council — the upper house of the country’s Federal Assembly. Addressing the criticism of Russia’s vote in favor of UNESCO’s resolution which ignores the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the chairman of the Council of the Federation Committee on Foreign Affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, said Russia has never questioned the Jews’ right to the Temple Mount, nor has it questioned the right of others to the holy site.

However, in late October, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told TASS that Israel’s emotional approach to resolutions of UNESCO on Jerusalem is “not quite justified,” suggesting the Israelis’ “emotions are over the top.”

“Israelis have a sensitive attitude toward that issue,” he said, “But this time we felt that Israelis’ emotions are a bit over the top in that issue,” Gatilov said, adding that “in this regard, the excessively emotional approach of Israel is not quite justified.”

Knesset Committee Chairman MK Avi Dichter (Likud), and MKs Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beitenu), Eyal Ben-Reuven (Zionist Camp) and Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), and their hosts stressed the importance of the relations between the countries, as well as the need to continue the diplomatic and security dialogue and continue developing the economic, cultural and technological ties.

The talks also focused on Israel’s and Russia’s mutual interest in seeking regional stability and combating terror, and ideas on how to cooperate were discussed.

As to the Russian government’s decision on paying working pensions to Israelis who immigrated from the former Soviet Union, the officials said the decision is supposed to be approved by the State Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament) and the Federation Council by the end of the year.

The delegation also met with the Russia-Israel Friendship Association, and attended a dinner hosted by the Israeli ambassador. The dinner was also attended by four chairpersons of committees in the State Duma and the Federation Council, as well as by Russia’s chief rabbi.

On Tuesday the MKs are scheduled to meet with representatives of the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Moscow, with President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy to the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov, with members of the State Duma’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Defense Committee, and with the deputy head of the National Security Council.

David Israel

Did You Hear The One About The Statue of Palestine? #PalestinianClaims

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

You know the expression, that “fatal cup of beer” ? The one where you know you’ve made the mistake, you’ve had just that last one too many … Well, the Palestinian Authority has just drained the last drop.

The PA delegation to UNESCO has demanded a full session of the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property – to force the “return” of the Dead Sea Scrolls “stolen” by Israel.

The Palestinian Authority insists the Dead Sea Scrolls are part of “Palestinian heritage.”

For real.

Now, if you, the reader, are especially energetic and hop over to the Twitter social networking site, typing in #PalestinianClaims, you will see some more of the latest Very Important Palestinian [Authority] claims – the most recent tweeted by users who are simply being helpful and all.

But in case you don’t have time or inclination, we have brought a sampling of the bounty here for your amusement.

For instance, one tweet: “All we have to kill Jews are rocks…”

Qassam rocket being loaded by Palestinian Authority terrorists in Gaza to attack Israelis.

Qassam rocket being loaded by Palestinian Authority terrorists in Gaza to attack Israelis.

And, for those who indulge in ancient history: ‘an appeal to @UNESCO, demanding that the damn Trojans will give them back their horse.”

Or a tweet from Israeli writer and commentator Shlomi Ben Meir: “Famous Palestinian leader, dreaming of establishing a Palestinian state. Famous quote: ‘If you will it, it’s not just #PalestinianClaims”.

From investigative journalist Y Mikarov: ‘BREAKING. Palestinians claim they are the ones exiled from Egypt and will now celebrate Passover [Minus Gefilte Fish].’

And from the NGO, ‘Stand With Us,’ the edgy query, ‘Palestinians claiming Dead Sea scrolls as Palestinian – what next? Famous Palestinian wall of China?’

Or, ‘Meet William al Sheik-Speare, a famous Palestinian writer’ from BevL

But the best is from the shores of America and the keyboard of Arsen Ostrovsky: ‘Wow, did you hear the one about the Statue of Palestine?’

Hana Levi Julian

Palestinian Authority Demands “Return” of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Don’t fall off your seats on this one.

Following their success in erasing the Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount at UNESCO, the Palestinian Authority has decided to ramp it up a bit, according to a report on IBA’s Reshet Bet.

At UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property, the Palestinian Authority delegation to UNESCO is now demanding the “return” of the “stolen” Dead Sea Scrolls.

PA representative Dr. Munir said the Dead Sea Scrolls are from the Palestinian Authority territories and are part of the Palestinian heritage!

The PA wants a full session dedicated to this at the next UNESCO meeting of the committee.

Munir also complained to the committee that antiquities were stolen from the Rockefeller Museum (in eastern Jerusalem) and moved to the western side of Jerusalem (the Israel Museum).

Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, David Sharma Hacohen, whom Netanyahu recently recalled to Israel following the previous anti-Semitic UNESCO vote, said from Jerusalem,

“This is just another example of their provocation and chutzpa in attempting to rewrite history. In any case, just like the Temple Mount and Kotel, the Dead Sea Scrolls will stay in our hands, while the Palestinians will be left with their hidden dreams.”

Sharma-Cohen used the word “Ganuz” in Hebrew, playing on the Hebrew name for the Dead Sea Scrolls “HaMegilot HaGenuzot” – The Hidden Scrolls.

The Dea Sea Scrolls website describes the scrolls as follows:

The most well-known texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls are the ancient religious writings found in eleven caves near the site of Qumran… [in the eastern Judean desert]

Scroll dates range from the third century BCE (mid–Second Temple period) to the first century of the Common Era, before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. While Hebrew is the most frequently used language in the Scrolls, about 15% were written in Aramaic and several in Greek. The Scrolls’ materials are made up mainly of parchment, although some are papyrus, and the text of one Scroll is engraved on copper.

About 230 manuscripts are referred to as “biblical Scrolls”. These are copies of works that are now part of the Hebrew Bible.

We have no doubt that UNESCO will fully support the PA’s historical revisionism.

Next they’re going to demand we return the Palestinian Talmud.

Some of the scrolls are on display at the Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum, a few are being held in Jordan.

Perhaps, the PA is still looking for anything to put in their empty museum.

Jewish Press News Briefs

The UNESCO Problem: What Can Be Done?

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Given the rancor between UNESCO and pro-Israel groups in light of UNESCO’s recent anti-Israel resolutions, it is fascinating to recall what the UN organization’s director said just a few months ago.

Speaking at an event showcasing the Israeli Education Without Borders initiative, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said it “reflects the strong foundation of cooperation between Israel and UNESCO, covering the full range of UNESCO’s mandate – especially in education for peace, for inclusion, for human rights.”

The high-spirited event actually took place in UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Sponsored by the World Jewish Congress and Israel’s Permanent Mission to UNESCO, it launched a photo exhibition of Israel’s project to provide education to hospitalized children. More than 150 people took part, including more than 20 ambassadors and senior diplomats.

Before we explain the ramifications of the anti-Jewish UNESCO resolutions, let us take this opportunity to note, as WJC head Robert Singer told the participants, that Israel is the only country in the world where education is mandatory for children who are hospitalized for more than three days. Singer also highlighted how the program shows that “people of all races, backgrounds, and religions can and do coexist in Israel.” It was noted, too, that Israel’s Galilee Medical Center has treated over 1,000 Syrians injured in the Syrian civil war.

This honeymoon between UNESCO and Israel was short-lived, however. Just a few days later, UNESCO’s executive board passed the first of a series of resolutions denying any Jewish link to the holiest sites in Judaism and Jewish history. UNESCO referred to the Temple Mount as Haram al-Sharif, the Western Wall of the Mount as Al-Buraq Plaza, after Muhammad’s horse, and the Jewish state not as “Israel” but as “the Occupying Power.”

That resolution went over with relatively little protest, and a few weeks later UNESCO proceeded to do it again – twice. First its executive board passed a resolution similar to the above, and then, in late October, the body’s World Heritage Committee voted to accept a third one. The last one was slightly watered down, in that it did not refer to Israel as the “occupying power.” But the long and short of it is that UNESCO denies the historic Jewish ties to the site of our own holy Temple.

Fascinatingly, our sages teach that three critical places in the Land of Israel were duly purchased by the Jewish nation and can therefore never be contested: Jerusalem (purchased by King David from the Jebusites), Hebron (purchased by Abraham from Ephron), and Nablus (Shechem, bought by Jacob from the sons of Hamor). So why is it that the Jewish ties to these three places draw even more objections, if such a thing is possible, than the rest of the Holy Land?

The answer can only be intuited: The enemy senses that the sites holy to the Jews are the key to the entire struggle. Whoever controls Jerusalem and Hebron and Shechem will be victorious. At present, we are in a tight holding pattern, with sovereignty over Jerusalem but without day-to-day control over the Temple Mount, and with varying degrees of control in Hebron and Shechem.

What can be learned from this combination of contemporary news reports and age-old rabbinic teachings? Mainly that our struggle for our holy city of Yerushalayim must be waged as fiercely now as ever before. Seeing that the Palestinian Authority spares no efforts in this war, as evidenced by the international support it drummed up for the groundless and deceptive UNESCO resolutions, how much more so must we – who have the truth on our side – not remain silent.

We are not without allies. UNESCO’s director Bokova has herself spoken out against her organization’s anti-Israel resolutions, saying, “To deny, conceal, or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of [Jerusalem], and runs counter to the reasons that justified its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list.” Even outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has criticized the votes, and a small number of countries that voted in favor have attempted to rectify the damage.

In addition, some Christian groups in the United States were greatly disturbed by the votes.

David Brog, director of Christians United for Israel, said: “The places under discussion, namely the Temple Mount, play a central role not only to the Jewish faith but also to the Christian faith.”

Robert Nicholson, who heads the Philos Project that “seeks to promote positive Christian engagement in the Middle East,” said: “UNESCO’s decision to deny Jewish history is also a decision to deny Christian history. If the Jews don’t have a legacy on the Temple Mount, neither do Christians. And yet we know that… Jesus came to the Temple throughout his life to worship and pray to the God of Israel, as a Jew, six centuries before Muhammad was even born.”

But this is far from enough. We must encourage our Christian allies in our fight against hostile Muslim anti-Jewish trends, but we must not rely on them. The fight is ours. If Jerusalem is to take its place as the site “from where Torah shall go forth” and which will become the “house of prayer for all nations,” as the Prophets promise, we must all enlist in the cause. The following must be done:

* The Jewish people, in Israel and in the Diaspora, must educate themselves regarding their heritage in the Land of Israel in general and in Jerusalem in particular. Ignorance is our enemy, and will not be able to stand up to the lies and inaccuracies spread by those who seek to harm us.

* Those with the skills and inclination to make Israel’s case must be not only reactive but also proactive. Whoever can, must! We cannot let the ongoing farce of negating Jerusalem’s Jewishness continue without a popular and decisive campaign for the truth. All the accepted channels, in the classic as well as new media, must be utilized to correct the lies and disseminate the truth. We must also recruit our gentile friends around the world to participate in this campaign.

* A concerted effort should be made in friendly countries to pass pro-Jerusalem resolutions on the national, federal and local levels. This has already begun in the U.S., where such declarations have been passed in South Carolina, Florida, and elsewhere. Furthermore, personal commitments to Jerusalem can be expressed by signing on the Keep Jerusalem Covenant, found on Keep Jerusalem’s website, www.keepjerusalem.org or e-mail us at tours@keepjerusalem.org.

Hillel Fendel and Chaim Silberstein / KeepJerusalem.org

Netanyahu: Italy’s Arch of Titus in Rome Described A Jewish Tragedy in Jerusalem

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Wednesday in Jerusalem with Italian President Sergio Mattarella. Netanyahu spoke with media prior to the meeting at his office, offering condolences to the families of the earthquake victims and wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded. Israel, he said, has extended its offer to help and reiterated the assistance remains if needed.

The Israeli prime minister spoke of the many inspirations and connections Israel draws from Italy, including its “creative genius” which he said is today being translated into innovation. “I think that if we join together in this miraculous world of information and creativity and innovation, we can do more together than we can do separately,” he said. “This is one of the things that we have been talking about in our respective governments, and will continue to do so… So there is a deep bond. I cannot say that the history of our peoples in antiquity was always marked by amity,” Netanyahu remarked, however, “even though there was a very active Jewish community in ancient Rome. But obviously things took a turn for the worse, and that is commemorated in all its tragedy in the Arch of Titus in Rome… in which you see, of course, the great artifacts of the Jewish Temple carried in a triumphal march in Rome. And you see the Menorah, which is the symbol of the Jewish state, but also was of course the main object in our ancient Temple.

“I raise this because we’ve just had an absurd decision of UNESCO that said that the Jewish people h ave no connection to the Temple Mount.

“Well, the Arch of Titus was built by Titus’s brother, the Emperor Domitian. He wasn’t a Zionist propagandist. And he obviously was depicting that long, thousands-year connection to the Temple Mount, to Jerusalem and to this country of the Jewish people.

“That absurd resolution obviously shocked us in many ways, but it didn’t leave us speechless. We were gravely disappointed, obviously, on Italy’s vote and I was delighted to hear Prime Minister Renzi’s saying that he too was shocked by the UNESCO vote and Italy’s abstention. And I welcomed his statement, clear, forthright statement that Italy would change its vote in any such future resolutions. I deeply appreciate Prime Minister Renzi’s words.

“UNESCO’s attempts to erase Jewish history is an attempt to say that Jews really don’t have any connection to our land. It’s not only false, blatantly false, it also makes the achievement of peace harder….

“This conflict is not and never was about a Palestinian state, which successive Israeli governments, including this prime minister, is willing to arrange – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state. This conflict was never about the Palestinian state. It was and is about the Jewish state, and unless and until our Palestinian neighbors face this, confront these demons, give up the ghost of trying to destroy the Jewish state by this or that means, peace will be harder to achieve. Denying our history is one of the means of denying the Jewish state. This is the bad news.

“Now, the good news. The good news, the incredible news, one that fills me with great hope, is that there is a dramatic change taking place in the Arab world, and that change is that many of the Arab countries see Israel no longer as their enemy, but as their ally, even their vital ally, in fighting against Islamist terrorism, militant Islam, either led by Iran or led by Da’esh.

“Here are two sentences that summarize everything that I said. I am hopeful as never before. If we said in the past that if we break through with the Palestinians, we’ll have broader peace with the Arab world, I think the odds are that it’s now going to – peace is going to be achieved through a reverse path. Not that the Palestinians will bring peace with the broader Arab world, but a broader rapprochement with the Arab world would bring peace with the Palestinians.

“Israel’s hand is extended to peace for all those who want to make peace with it. We have a belief in the future. We have a belief in technology, in progress as a great way of solidifying peace and advancing it with our neighbors and with our friends like Italy and elsewhere in the world. It’s in this spirit of hope and peace that I welcome you to Jerusalem.”

Hana Levi Julian

Swiss MP at the Knesset: UNESCO Resolution on Jerusalem ‘Absurd’

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

The Swiss-Israel Friendship Association, headed by MP Corina Eichenberger-Walther (Liberal Party), visited the Knesset on Wednesday and conducted several meetings with Israeli lawmakers, including members of the Israel-Switzerland Parliamentary Friendship Group, headed by MK David Amsalem (Likud).

The Swiss MP also met with MK Avraham Neguise (Likud) and the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman, MK Avi Dichter (Likud).

MP Eichenberger-Walther is the head of a European association for fighting BDS, and emphasized during her meetings that she is ceaselessly working to improve relations between Switzerland and Israel.

MK Amsalem noted that Israelis from the entire political spectrum often feel as though the attitude toward Israel around the world, especially in Europe, is unfair and unjustified. Amsalem pointed as an example to the latest resolution passed by UNESCO regarding the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the holy sites.

Eichenberger-Walther called the UNESCO decision “absurd” and said it “undermines the organization’s credibility.”

During the meeting with Knesset Deputy Speaker MK Yehiel Hilik Bar (Zionist Camp), the Swiss delegation members expressed their concerns regarding the year 2017, when the PA and their BDS supporters are expected to launch a propaganda campaign against Israel, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War.

MK Bar responded, “It is good to see once again that Israel has many friends around the world, some in influential positions. The challenge Israel faces is to recruit all of our supporters for a joint active initiative.”


India and UNESCO: Historical View vs. Jihad View

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

{Originally posted to the Gatestone Institute website}

One wonders what India’s Permanent Delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is doing in Paris today. India joined it way back on November 4, 1946. Given the potential of this cultural agency in spreading enlightenment derived from scientific education and fostering development throughout the world, New Delhi sent to the organization internationally acclaimed philosopher and future President, S. Radhakrishnan as a member. He rose to become its chairman during 1948-49. New Delhi’s abstention from voting on the October 18 resolution in UNESCO’s Executive Board, however, indicates the Indian delegation now in Paris is absolutely ineffective.

In a 24-6 vote, the Executive Board ratified a resolution that refers to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and its adjoining Western Wall solely by their Muslim names of Al-Haram Al-Sharif and the “Buraq Wall.” The nations that voted for it included: Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Morocco, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Russia, South Africa, and Vietnam.

The six countries that voted “no” were Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States.

Those that abstained included: Albania, Argentina, Cameroon, El Salvador, France, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Haiti, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Paraguay, Saint Vincent and Nevis, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Ukraine.

New Delhi’s abstention from voting on this resolution falls short of the expectations the enlightened international community probably has on the issue of the Jewish Temple. India, which boasts an age-old slogan, “Satyamev Jayate” (“Let Truth Triumph”), recalls, since ancient times the Temple Mount as part of India’s indelible memory. In his historic address to the Parliament of the World’s Religions at Chicago in 1893, India’s legendary spiritual thinker, Swami Vivekanand, said:

“I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to Southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny…”

The Temple Mount refers to a walled compound having two magnificent structures — the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque — and the Western Wall. For the last 3000 years, the complex has served as a witness to the faithful of the three great monotheistic religions. King Solomon built the First Temple here around 1000 BC. The Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar tore it down 400 years later. In the first century BC, King Herod refurbished a Second Temple. It is here that Jesus Christ lashed out against the money-changers. The Roman General Titus exacted revenge against Jewish rebels, sacking and burning the Temple in 70 AD.

Muslims call the Temple Mount “Haram al-Sharif” (“the Noble Sanctuary”), and the al-Aqsa mosque “the farthest mosque” — although no one knows how far the farthest mosque actually was; it may well have been in Arabia — where in a dream the Islamic Prophet Muhammad supposedly ascended to the “Divine Presence” on the back of a winged horse.

In modern times, the antiquity of the complex can easily be determined by archaeological excavations and scientific tools. But this has not been acceptable to the authority of the compound, an Islamic council called the Waqf, which spuriously insists that archaeological excavations would amount to a desecration of their religious sites. In the late 19th century, European adventurers conducted some clandestine surveys. Some minor archaeological work was conducted by the British from 1938 to 1942, when the al-Aqsa Mosque was undergoing renovation.

It is clear from the history of faiths that the holy scriptures of the Jews are far older than the Islamic ones. The Temple Mount is the ultimate — and only — physical expression of the Jewish faith in God. The Prophet Muhammad’s Islam and its symbols, Al-Haram Al-Sharif and the Buraq Wall (where Muhammad is said to have chained his winged horse upon entering Jerusalem in his dream) came in the world at least a thousand years later.

Regrettably, UNESCO seeks to erase this history of faiths and replace it with a jihadi narrative that would deny both Christians and Jews their age-old access to the symbols of their faiths.

UNESCO is supposed to help preserve the entire world’s heritage, but this cultural agency seems to have been hijacked by the leadership and allies of the Palestinians and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). UNESCO accepted “Palestine” as a member state in 2011, although the United Nations has not done it so far. Since 2015, the Palestinian leadership has been on a drive to change UNESCO’s terms of reference not only for the Temple Mount but also for every trace of legitimate Judeo-Christian history. Is what we are sheepishly witnessing actually the perversion of history, the perversion of the work UNESCO knows full well that it is supposed to be doing and a submission to the counterfactual demands of a group that is expansionist and predatory? What mutilation of reality will be next?

It is heartening to note that the resolution has been criticized by the White House, outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, and nearly 40 members of the U.S. Congress. Bokova distanced herself from it, saying in a statement “nowhere more than in Jerusalem do Jewish, Christian and Muslim heritage and traditions share space.”

India, as a leading democracy, would do well fully to support a historically and morally correct stand on the UNESCO resolution. It must see to it that the UNESCO does what it is supposed to: spread education and enlightenment.

India recognized Israel in 1950. Israel stood by India in 1962, 1965 and 1971. Since India’s Prime Minister P. V. Narsimha Rao established full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992, ties between the two democracies have grown from strength to strength in the areas of defence, counter-terrorism, intelligence, agriculture, science and technology.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is openly appreciative of what Israel does in its self-defence, and sees it as a model for India.

New Delhi must not allow any anti-Israel bias within the United Nations to prevail. It must constantly bear in mind that the resolution in question could be passed only because at the UN, through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (56 Islamic states plus “Palestine”), Muslim nations with an Islamist agenda dominate it. If they are not stopped, the Islamist backers of the UNESCO resolution will be emboldened eventually to back Islamist elements in India to question its Hindu historical and religious sites.

After so many recent votes at UNESCO erasing Judeo-Christian history in favour of Islamist misrepresentation, and now in this fraudulent representation of Judaism’s holiest site (a city more than twice as old as Islam) as primarily Muslim, one thing is clear: the sooner democracies leave the UN, the better. Consider the UN’s oil-for-food scandal of 2004-2005:

“bribes, kickbacks, fraud, smuggling; stories of graft involving tens of billions of dollars and countless barrels of oil, and implicating big business and high officials in dozens of countries; allegations that the head of the program himself was on the take…”

Consider also the UN’s growing sex-for-food scandal that is still ongoing after more than a decade. Now, with the UN’s wholesale erasure of Biblical history, the only intelligent response is to head for the exits. The UN in its present form seems nothing more than a bloated, corrupt jobs program of champagne for diplomats. It does far more harm than good. Nothing worth having can come from such a degraded place.

Jagdish N. Singh

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/india-and-unesco-historical-view-vs-jihad-view/2016/11/01/

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