Remember what Pat Schroeder said about former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim? Waldheimer’s disease is when you forget you were a Nazi.
Now, UNESCO indulges in cultural Alzheimer’s, transposing the disease to the organization as a whole.
The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization has declared the Tomb of Rachel a mosque, and Mearat ha-Machpelah, the Cave of the Patriarchs, Palestinian.
Let UNESCO just as well call Disneyland Harvard and Super Max the Pepsi Center. Laura Bush is a Buddhist and Bob Dylan is the World Series MVP. Right?
Such is the coherence at UNESCO.
The robbery of emotion-laden holy sites from the Jewish people is no less painful than the way Alzheimers robs a human being of his past.
Of course, if the Tomb of Rachel is a mosque, rather than a Jewish holy site for millennia, then the Jews who live anywhere in the land of Israel are all settlers, i.e., interlopers. When Israel asks to be recognized as a Jewish state in peace negotiations with Palestinians, and the brushback is fierce, fast and furious, you know the battle has been defined.
It’s not borders. It’s not settlements. It’s not arms. It’s not contiguity. It’s not demographics. It’s not the security fence. It’s whether Rachel was Jewish or Muslim its the right of Jews to a national existence anywhere in Israel.
UNESCO? With the Orwellian relabeling of the Tomb of Rachel a mosque, the education, science and culture of UNESCO resemble reeducation (think Communism), ersatz science (think Christian Science) and corrupted culture (think National Enquirer).
A key to inter-ethnic peace in Israel is mutual respect for holy sites. Arabs showed no respect for the Western Wall when they denied Jews access to it, 1949-1967. Israel has shown scrupulous respect for Arab, Christian, Bahai, Druze and Jewish holy sites since 1967, when Israel took control of them.
When a UN body declares two major Jewish holy sites to be non-Jewish, this only reinforces Israel’s will not to relinquish them, ever; and emboldens those on the right who say that negotiations with the Palestinians are pointless.
Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, wrote UNESCO’s director general, Irina Bokova: ”For Unesco to try and remove these two ancient Jewish sites from Israel is an outrage.”
For thousands of years Biblical tradition has upheld that the Tomb of Rachel was acquired and built by Jacob the Patriarch of Israel, and has been among the most sacred sites of Judaism since.
”The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron has for an even longer period of time been part of the heart and soul of Israel.”
To deny the Jewish people these Biblical legacies is to confuse Disneyland for Jerusalem — to deny history.
But, from the UN — what else would you expect?
Copyright © 2010 by the Intermountain Jewish News