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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘UNESCO’

Arab Incitement: Israel to Raze Al Aqsa Mosque, Build Holy Temple

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Israel was prepared for the worst when UNESCO accepted the Palestinian Authority as a member last year, and now the worst has come in the form of an agency resolution condemning Israel for supposedly endangering the holy city, a declared World Heritage Site.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs finally ripped off its polite diplomatic costume on Sunday and harshly reprimanded UNESCO for letting itself be “hijacked” by the Palestinian Authority agenda.

Referring to the latest resolution, the ministry stated, “This is a dark day for UNESCO, a day the organization will want to erase from its history … Exactly as Israel had warned in the recent past, the Palestinians are exploiting their admission to UNESCO as a member state in order to hijack the agenda and drag this important UN agency into the abyss of politicized manipulation.

“The resolution… is nothing but a heap of statements disconnected from reality. There is no linkage between the resolution’s language and the actual situation on the ground, as the text only reflects the clichés of the anti-Israel bubble which the Palestinians cultivate within UNESCO.”

The World Heritage Committee condemned Israel for “recent demolitions and intrusive digging at the Magharbeh Gate pathway” and called on Israel to prevent any further provocative action taken by “Israeli religious extremist groups,” referring to any Jew who dares to ascend the Temple Mount, let alone be charged for the criminal act of trying to pray there.

At least twice a week, Arab media, including those within the Palestinian Authority, publicize stories of Jews “storming” the Temple Mount and planning to build the Third Temple.

The Saudi Gazette, in perfect timing for chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry later this week, screamed in a headline on Tuesday, “Israel planning to raze Al-Aqsa to build ‘second temple.”

Of course, the Second Temple was razed nearly 2,000 years ago by the Roman Empire, but if you are going to write fiction, go all the way. Considering the Palestinian Authority’s strategy to deny that the Holy Temples ever existed, it would have more logical for the Saudi Gazette to write that Israel plans to build the “First Temple,” but let’s leave that for its editors.

And keep in mind Kerry was in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday and profusely praised the kingdom for its 2002 Peace Initiative that would bring peace to the Middle East if Israel were simply to accept it, surrender the Old City, surrender, all of Judea and Samaria, surrender a Jewish majority in what would remain of Israel by accepting the immigration of several foreign Arabs and in return win the grand prize of “normalization” of ties with Arab League states. And Israel’s Foreign Ministry would be on a part of the boat carrying the rest of Israel on the Mediterranean Sea.

And how does the Arab world know that Israel is planning to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque?

Excavations, of course. Every time an Israeli archaeologist sticks a shovel into the ground in the Old City, he has one and only objective – undermining the foundations of the mosque and causing its collapse.

Any idiot could figure that out – and only an idiot, including the editors of Arab incitement. Speaking of idiots, the Obama administration has lauded the Palestinian Authority for stopping incitement against Israel.

The idiot at the Saudi Gazette noted, “The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said that the Israeli authorities began the excavations in the southern part of Al-Magharebah Gate, the eastern part of the Umayyad palaces and at the entrance of the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood.…

“It warned that the use of huge machines in the excavation work in the area puts in serious danger the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It added that the Israeli will build in the sites several facilities, including synagogue for women, restroom facilities, police station, tourists’ centers, a network of bridges and iron stairs.”

Where are the Women of the Wall? They obviously are part of this plot to destroy the mosque and build the Third Temple. The “new synagogue” for women actually consists of renovations at the Western Wall to allow them to pray in a minyan and pretend they are men. Fine, let it be and blame the women for this ugly plot.

Israel Comes to its Senses, Cancels UNESCO Mission

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is going to meet on Wednesday in Paris to discuss Israel’s refusal to allow a fact finding mission into the country to look into complaints of changes to the historic character of East Jerusalem, PA Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said Tuesday, according to the official PA news agency WAFA.

The mission was originally supposed to arrive in Jerusalem on Monday, and spend five days looking into charges of changes to the historic and cultural character of East Jerusalem.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry official told AFP that Israel cancelled the delegation’s visit because “the Palestinians were not respecting the understandings. The visit was supposed to be professional, (but) they were taking measures that showed they were politicizing the event and not letting the delegation focus on professional sides of it.”

In April, Israel agreed that UNESCO could assess the state of the Old City of Jerusalem, following pressure from Jordan, as well as the PA, which became a member of the organization in 2011.

Speaking on Voice of Palestine radio, Malki said that Israel “used false pretexts to justify its decision not to allow the mission into the country,” such as the claim that the mission’s work was political.

“We will not accept such claims,” he said, explaining that the Palestinian Authority asked UNESCO to take a stand on the sudden change in the Israeli position, and that a meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday with the representatives of the Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli delegations.

Malki said he expected the meeting to agree on a new date for the arrival of the mission in Jerusalem, adding that international pressure on Israel is going to force it to allow the UNESCO team to do its work.

Israel had agreed to the arrival of the mission in a deal brokered by the Russian delegation to UNESCO according to which the Palestinians would postpone until the fall discussion of five resolutions condemning Israel for the changes it has introduced to the city since 1967.

Israel Capitulating, Satisfied Arabs Postponing Condemnations

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

The Israeli government has finally capitulated and agreed to allow a mission from UNESCO, the UN’s cultural arm, to visit sites within the Old City of Jerusalem starting May 19.

Israel has also has agreed to take part in a Paris meeting of experts next month on the Mughrabi Ascent. There’s no telling what those experts want, other than to harass Israel a little more over the Mughrabi Ascent saga.

The Mughrabi Ascent is a sand embankment which provides access to the Mughrabi Gate of the Temple Mount from the area of the Western Wall.

During the winter of 2004, the Mughrabi Ascent collapsed because of too much rain, too much snow and a little earthquake. Since the Mughrabi Gate is the only entrance for non-Muslim visitors and Israeli security forces to the Temple Mount, a temporary wooden bridge was erected, and plans were drawn for a permanent bridge.

There also happens to be an archeological excavation going on at the same site.

Israel has been acting transparently, both regarding the excavation and the plans for a permanent bridge to connect the Kotel area to the Temple Mount. The Palestinians have a vested interest in sabotaging both the archeology and the bridge building. So why should Israel acquiesce this time?

Because in return for cooperation with UNESCO, the Palestinians will postpone five resolutions “condemning Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.”

“It’s a door that was opened,” Israeli Ambassador to UNESCO Nimrod Barkan told the Post. “It’s a move toward confidence building and an attempt to see whether there is forward movement.”

Palestinian Ambassador Elias Sanbar said the five resolutions condemning Israel are in areas from settlements to archeological excavations. And the Palestinians are not deleting them, the are simply postponing them until September.

Bully for us!

So, let’s see, what could be so bad about admitting an UNESCO mission officially into East Jerusalem?

Back in October 2010, UNESCO’s Executive Board voted to declare the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem as “al-Haram al-Ibrahimi” and “Bilal bin Rabah Mosque,” stating that they were “an integral part of the occupied Palestinian Territories” and that any unilateral Israeli action there was considered a violation of international law.

So, based on the above, how do you think this new UNESCO mission is going to end? Are we going to be spared new condemnations and name changes from Hebrew to Arabic?

As the Washington Post put it on Tuesday, the decision to let the mission roam our streets was “a victory that carried big hopes for those hoping to end the deadlock between Israelis and Palestinians.”

That’s two hopes in one sentence, which could only mean the Post can no longer afford line editors, or that there’s a whole bunch of hope coming our way.

Hamas Bulldozes UN Heritage Site for Terrorist Training Grounds

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Hamas has plowed over a 3,000-year-old harbor, designated by the United Nations as a World Heritage site, and has covered it with sand to prepare more training grounds for terrorists.

The terrorist organization explained that there is nothing wrong with plowing over history if it is good for the cause of the “resistance,” – read “terror and the end of Zionism.”

Hamas already has expertise in destroying buildings and land that can be used for the benefit of the local population.

In 2005, the Israeli government – the Sharon Chelm government – expelled 9,000 Jews from Gaza and withdrew every IDF soldier from Gaza in order to ensure that Hamas would no longer have any reason to attack Israelis. Since they never did have a reason in the first place, there was no logic in expecting Hamas to become civil. That is now history for future generations to ponder.

With the help of such saintly institutions as the World Bank, Israel agreed to leave standing the greenhouses, where Gaza Arabs earned a living, so that the Palestinian Authority could help the local agriculture blossom by using Israeli  technology already in place.

Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction at that time was in the same political bed as Hamas. After the expulsion, the PA regime destroyed the greenhouses and turned them into its own kind of future heritage site where men, women and children could learn to be martyrs and be prepared for 72 virgins.

Nearly eight years have passed, and the so-called military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has now bulldozed a part of the ancient Anthedon Harbor in northern Gaza along the Mediterranean Sea to expand its training zone, journalist and former human rights researcher Abeer Ayyoub wrote for Al Monitor.

Here is what UNESCO says about the Heritage site, designated as such only last year after the location was discovered in 1997, uncovering mosaic floors with historical pillars from the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic ages.

“Anthedon is the first known seaport of Gaza, mentioned in Islamic literature with the names of Tida…The city was inhabited from 800 BC to 1100 AD…

“The acropolis of Anthedon shows archaeological remains dated from the late Iron Age II, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods….

“The excavated site is about 20 dunam [5 acres] and consists of a 65-meter [213-foot] long mud-brick wall, formerly of the old commercial city center, which was part of the eastern extension of the harbor, and other earthen works…

“Anthedon represents a clear example among the seaports along the Eastern Mediterranean coast, demarcating the ancient trade route that linked Europe with the Levant during Phoenician, Roman, and Hellenistic periods…. The presence of massive earthen structure in the proximity of the sea as well as the rich underwater heritage, still to be explored, make Anthedon an excellent site for nomination to the World Heritage list.”

Its official designation as a Heritage site gave Hamas a wonderful opportunity to promote tourism, but things don’t work so logically in a terrorist regime.

In typical Orwellian language, the Tourism Ministry has stated it will not allow harm to monuments but that “the ministry appreciates the urgent need for using new pieces of land” due to the rising population.

And then there is the truth.

Deputy Minister of Tourism in Gaza Muhammad Khela told Al-Monitor that the location was taken for military use and not demographic purposes.

“We can’t stand as an obstacle in the way of Palestinian resistance; we are all a part of a resistance project, yet we promise that the location will be limitedly [sic] used without harming it at all,” Khela explained.

No harm will come to it – but.

Since Hamas needs money for the “resistance,” it does not have funds for excavation, so the solution of covering it with sand was really for the protection of the site.

The blame, of course, is UNESCO, according to Hamas. After all, it was the United Nations body that declared the harbor a Heritage site in the first place, and it obviously is the responsibility of the United Nations to do the preservation work so that Hamas can keep its mind on the resistance.

Hamas, like its rival Fatah faction headed by Abbas, is used to being on the world’s welfare rolls, but UNESCO explained to the Tourism Ministry it is not a funding agency.

U.S. Envoy: Syria ‘Not Fit to Sit’ on UN Rights Committee

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

U.S. Ambassador David T. Killion spoke out as UNESCO’s human rights committee which was assembled in Paris this week to rule on individual human rights complaints—with Syria’s Assad regime as one of its 30 judges.

The Geneva-based watchdog group UN Watch congratulated Ambassador Killion and urged UNESCO to finally expel Assad from the panel.

“It is indefensible for the Syrian regime to be allowed to stand as a judge of other countries’ human rights records,” said Ambassador Killion in response to a question by UN Watch, which heads a global campaign of more than 50 parliamentarians, human rights and religious groups calling for Syria’s expulsion.

In a statement on Thursday, UN Watch called on France, Germany, the UK, the EU and the UN to speak out and take action to remove Syria from the UN committee.

“Having the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad as a global judge of human rights is like appointing a pyromaniac to be a firefighter,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer. “UNESCO is allowing the Assad regime to strut in Paris as a UN human rights arbiter. That’s immoral, indefensible, and an insult to Syria’s victims.”

House Foreign Affairs Comm Chair: ‘No Money, No Political Support for PA’

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

The Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), firmly denounced  the decision made the United Nations General Assembly to elevate the status of  “Palestine” (the Palestine Liberation Organization) to non-member observer state at the UN.

In a statement issued on the day of the vote, Nov 29, Cong. Ros-Lehtinen said that Mahmoud Abbas is not a partner for peace and that his action at the U.N. will “push peace with Israel even further away.”

The Florida Congresswoman said that the decision by Abbas to ignore the U.S.’s strongly-worded and repeatedly given advice that he not attempt to achieve unilateral goals through the U.N. rather than through negotiations with Israel, made “crystal clear” that Abbas and his compatriots “do not value their relationship with the U.S.”

In addition to withholding all U.S. funds for “Palestine” the committee chair also intends to pull U.S. funding for any U.N. agencies that grant membership to “Palestine,” as is required under U.S. law.

Cong. Doug Lamborn (CO-5), co-chair of the Republican Israel Caucus and the Israel Allies Caucus also issued a statement through email denouncing the U.N. shenanigans.  He said that the action taken by Abbas could, “inflame tensions in the region and ultimately hurt their efforts to achieve statehood and a lasting peace.”

Lamborn also called for the cutting off of foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority as the result of its effort to gain statehood outside of direct negotiations with Israel.” 

Although the U.S. administration strongly opposed and voted against this measure at the U.N., Ros-Lehtinen also included a warning to the U.S. administration in her statement.

She said, “if the Administration again seeks to gut U.S. law and keep funding those reckless UN agencies, Congress’ response must be simple: No.”

Last year Abbas sought to gain full United Nations membership through the UN Security Council.  That gambit was rebuffed by a threat by the U.S. to veto any such motion.  However, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization went ahead and recognized “Palestine” as a UNESCO state member.  As a result of that decision, and in compliance with U.S. law, Congress cut UNESCO’s funding. However, after heavy congressional lobbying by the administration, the funding was restored in late April of this year through the implementation of a waiver.

Russia Scuttles Anti-Israel Resolutions at UNESCO

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

In a rare instance of breaking step with the Arab world, Russia’s envoy to the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) caused the organization to defer condemning Israel in a series of votes on Wednesday.

Five resolutions proposed by the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and Syria were scuttled by Russia, which presented a plan to delay the resolutions for 6 months in order to send a UN fact-finding team.  The plan passed, with France the only European country to vote against.

The resolutions accuse Israel of trying to change the character of Jerusalem by conducting archaeological digs without the approval of former occupying country Jordan, allowing Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, allowing Jews to live in Judea and Samaria, neglecting education in Gaza, and alleged mistreatment of the Druze residents of the Golan.

UNESCO considers the entire Old City of Jerusalem and its surrounding walls as a world heritage site.

The Palestinians Reveal the Jewish Connection to Palestine

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

The Palestinians have inadvertently contributed to the truth of the historic relationship of Jews with the land of Israel.

How?  By asking 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.  Unwittingly, the Palestinians have given the world the opportunity to learn about a historic relationship.

The Palestinians in October 2011 were granted full membership in UNESCO, which they hoped would lead to international recognition of a state of Palestine.  As a consequence of this membership, they are a party to the proceedings of the WHC, which has 21 changing members, presently including Russia, Qatar, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates, but not including the United States or Britain.

The request regarding the recognition of Battir is connected with the Palestinian’s more ambitious claim to be accorded by UNESCO the heritage over the basilica of the Church of the Nativity, regarded as the birthplace of Jesus, and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem.  Already, UNESCO has designated two Jewish sacred sites — Rachel’s Tomb, the burial place of the matriarch Rachel, the wife of Jacob, and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron — not as Jewish holy sites, but as mosques.  Only the United States voted against this proposal that was approved by 44 of the 58 members of the board of UNESCO.

The claim made by the Palestinians for Battir to be recognized as a Heritage Site is ostensibly based on its unusual topography of historic terraces and its Roman irrigation system.  The Palestinian Authority (PA) asserts that that it is a “historically sensitive area … where a millenary irrigation system is still in use to water the vegetable gardens of Battir.”  The village, which has grown in recent years to a population of 4,000, does have seven natural springs, an old Roman bath, and an irrigation system that waters fruit and vegetables.

However, the reason for the Palestinian request is more political than aesthetic.  The PA argues that Israel is planning to build part of its security fence through the valley and that it will damage a site that it claims, in accordance with the UNESCO operational guidelines concerning the acceptance of World Heritage Sites, is “representative of a culture.”

The Palestinian complaint is that the Israeli fence will deny the ability of the residents to enjoy their natural heritage and sustain the land.  The village, they argue, should be maintained as a landmark of Palestinian and humanitarian heritage.  The complaint has gone to the Israeli Supreme Court, which will adjudicate the question of the exact route of the fence, whether it should be rerouted, and whether the route is in accordance with Israeli security considerations.

All will almost certainly acknowledge the pleasant nature of the village and its picturesque character.  Yet the Palestinians’ ambitious claim is deficient in a number of ways.  Though the Roman irrigation system is historically interesting, in fact, the village gets most of its water from the West Bank Water Department, the public water network established in 1980.  The village has grown substantially since then, and the natural heritage there is threatened more by increased housing development than by any Israeli action.  Moreover, pretty though the area might be, it does not meet the objective requirements of UNESCO — namely, that a Heritage Site be a place of beauty, of importance, and of outstanding universal value.

But most important, the Palestinians have unwittingly drawn attention to the historic Jewish relationship with and claim to the land of Palestine.  The original name of Battir was Betar, the last fortress of Bar Kochba (son of a star) in his revolt against the Romans in 132-135.  The revolt led to the creation of an independent state of Israel over parts of Judea for over two years before being crushed by the Roman army of six legions.  The result was the killing of thousands of Jews — perhaps half a million — and the loss of Israeli independence and of Jewish religious and political authority.  The Romans did not allow the Jews to bury their dead in Betar.

A Jewish entity was not again the center of religious, cultural, and political life until the 20th century, but Betar remained an important symbolic reminder of the Jewish past.  The Revisionist Zionist youth movement, formed in 1923 by Vladimir Jabotinsky, took its name from the fortress.  The movement played a role in fighting against Nazi Germany in World War II.  Interestingly, Jabotinsky’s main political opponent, David Ben Gurion, is said by some to have taken his Hebrew name from one of the generals who fought in Betar.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-palestinians-reveal-the-jewish-connection-to-palestine/2012/09/13/

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