UNESCO Re-Writes History, Calls Tomb of Patriarches, Rachel’s Tomb Mosques

UNESCO’s answer to Israel including Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb as Jewish Heritage Sites? Declare them mosques.


If you want you can add your name to this petition to UNESCO and the UN – not that it will do any good, but at least you feel like you did something.

Of course – there is no UNESCO in Israel, but a lot in Arab states. There is one to the PA, and nothing to Israel.

You most likely will want to vent your emotions regularly and vociferously to these people at the UNESCO branch in NYC:
UNESCO Liaison Office in New York
Mail: p.kridelka(at)unesco.org
Tel: +1-212 963 5978
Fax: +1-212 963 8014
UNESCO Liaison Office in New York, 2, United Nations Plaza Room 900, NYC 10017

See below the break for the entire petition text and where you can find UNESCO while on tour of Arab states.

To: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO)
H.E. Mrs. Eleonora Valentinovna Mitrofanova, Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO
Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
Mr. Davidson L. Hepburn (Bahamas), President of the General Conference
Bureau of the World Heritage Committee
Chairperson: H.E. Mrs. Mai Bint Muhammad Al Khalifa (Bahrain)
Rapporteur: Mr. Ould Sidi Ali (Mali)
Vice-Chairpersons: Mr. Tyronne Brathwaite(Barbados,H.E.Mr. NarangNout(Cambodia),H.E.Mr. Margus Rava(Estonia),H.E.Ms.Dolana Msimang(South Africa),H. E. Mr. Rodolphe Imhoof (Switzerland)

We the undersigned protest The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) ruling that Israel has no right to add the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where almost all of Israel’s patriarchs and matriarchs are buried, to the National Heritage list. The Tomb of the Patriarchs, the oldest Jewish shrine and the second holiest site in Judaism, centers around the Cave of Machpelah, an ancient double cave revered for almost 4,000 years as the burial site of the Hebrew patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their wives. The connection of the Jewish people to the Cave of Machpelah was established some 3,800 years ago, when Abraham, the first Hebrew, purchased it for the express purpose of using it as a burial site for himself, his wife Sarah, and their future generations. It is the cradle of Jewish history and the focal point of Jewish identity. The rectangular enclosure over the caves is the only fully surviving Herodian structure. Thus the Tomb of the Patriarchs is of inestimable historical value as well as great sacred significance for the Jewish people.

We also protest the decision by UNESCO to re-label as an Islamic mosque the tomb of Rachel, Israel’s other matriarch, and to demand that Israel remove the site from its National Heritage list. The Tomb of Rachel, Judaism’s third-holiest site, has been the scene of prayer and pilgrimage for more than three thousand years, and has an especially meaningful connection for Jewish women. Rachel, the matriarch who died in childbirth and was buried at that spot on the road to Hebron, has been a comfort and hope to Jews since biblical days. “Thus says the Lord, ‘Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded…and they shall return from the enemy’s land and there is hope for the future’… ‘Your children shall return to their own country.” Jeremiah 31:16-17. Until 2000, the Palestinians recognized the site as Rachel’s Tomb. It was called “Rachel’s Tomb” in Al-mawsu’ah al-filastiniyah, the Palestinian encyclopedia published after 1996 and in PALESTINE, THE HOLY LAND, a Palestinian publication, with an introduction by Yasser Arafat. However, during the second intifada, Al-Hayat al-Jadida, a Palestinian daily, announced a new-found historical connection to Rachel’s Tomb, declaring that is was “originally a Muslim mosque.”

In an effort to erase Jewish history and supersede Jewish religious sites with Islamic institutions, Muslims have intentionally built mosques upon numerous synagogues and Jewish holy sites. The clearest examples are the Al-Aqsa mosque which sits on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, and the Dome of the Rock, which was built on Judaism’s holiest site of the two biblical Jewish Temples. This pattern repeats itself at the second and third holiest sites. Thus at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, there are domes over the tombs of Abraham and Sarah and a mosque over the tombs of Isaac and Rebecca. Photos from the early 1900’s show no Muslim cemetery near the Tomb or Rachel. After 1948 Muslims built their own cemetery surrounding three sides of Rachel’s tomb and now claim that Rachel’s Tomb is one of their burial plots and that it contains a Muslim rather than Jewish notable.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office decried the ludicrous nature of the UNESCO decision:
“The attempt to detach the Nation of Israel from its heritage is absurd. If the nearly 4,000-year-old burial sites of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish Nation – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah –are not part of its culture and tradition, then what is a national cultural site?”
“Sites such as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb (which sits on the edge of Bethlehem) present an inconvenient truth for the pro-Palestine movement and its supporters, who want to claim that the Jews have no historic ties to this land.”

In cooperating with efforts to erase Jewish historical ties to Israel, UNESCO is aiding and abetting those who hope to and obfuscate Israel’s Jewish past and undermine Israel’s Jewish future.

The UNESCO mission states: “Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.”

We demand that there be no exception to UNESCO’s mission when it comes to Jewish heritage. Israel’s Jewish legacy must be recognized and preserved and not swept away to conform with the pro-Palestinian narrative. In attempting to sever the Jewish cultural, religious and natural heritage bond with the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb, UNESCO denies the history it is mandated to preserve, engages in a political maneuver designed to weaken a member UN nation, and undermi

nes its own principles. It aims to rob the Jewish people not only of two sacred sites, which are irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration, but also of their past and a legacy to pass on to future generations. We demand that UNESCO, whose purpose it is to protect heritage, also protect Jewish heritage, rather than deny it.


The undersigned.


UNESCO Office for Iraq – National Office for Iraq.
UNESCO Office in Amman – National Office to Jordan.
UNESCO Office in Beirut – Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States and Cluster Office to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and the Autonomous Palestinian Territories.
UNESCO Office in Cairo – Regional Bureau for Sciences in the Arab States and Cluster Office for Egypt, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and Sudan.
UNESCO Office in Doha – Cluster Office to Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
UNESCO Office in Khartoum – National Office to Sudan.
UNESCO Office in Rabat – Cluster Office to Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
UNESCO Office in Ramallah – National Office to the Palestinian Authority.

5 replies
  1. Julia
    Julia says:

    Let’s talk property here:

    If the Arabs were building mosques on those sites which they were using, which the Jews haven’t held or used in decades, then those sites belong to the Arabs.

    Here’s an analogy: let’s suppose I went out into the woods and I homesteaded. I built a nice house by myself and lived peacefully in it for five years. During one very cold winter, a snowstorm comes and causes me to leave my house. So for decades my house sits there abandoned while I make a life somewhere else. Then, some forty years later, you and your family see my house, and since no one is occupying or using it, you and your family decide to fix it up and live in it. About ten years later, I come back to the same house as an old woman and I demand, “This house is mine. I was the original occupant many years ago. This house is important to who I am since I was the one who built it. You and your family need to GET OUT and give it back to me.” Now, my question is, do I have a legitimate claim to that house if I haven’t used or occupied it in fifty years? I would hope not! First occupancy by itself should not constitute a legitimate claim to property. I cannot claim large swarths of land if I haven’t used them, even if I was the first person to claim that land. It is not ethical by any means.

    This text sheds a better light on the subject: http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/economics/proudhon/property/ch03.htm

  2. Jerry
    Jerry says:

    Dear Julia, your explanation might be valid if you left voluntarly, but if you were denied access your claim is invalid, according to law,,,best examples are when owners of properties driven off their land in any conflict, and the conflict was initiated by the other party,this land is still yours if peace were negotiated ( and you have the power to impliment the demand),,,,,Jews have been denied access to these shrines, and did not vacate them,,,actually, the reverse happen when the entire Arab world declared war on Israel in 1948, and subsequently, Israel obtain land thru the aggession of the Arab world, but negotiated for peace with Egypt and Jordan, and returned their land,,,,Please compare apples for apple, not dates with apricots,,,,you cannot stop the Arab mentality if they want to name them something else, but please don’t tell me that an Arab supported institution like UNESCO should be able to make their own declaration on this issue,,,Let them recuse themselves because of their extremely close ties with the Arab world

  3. rabbiyonah
    rabbiyonah says:

    Jerry you are absolutely correct. In fact, not only were Jews driven from their holy sites, but they have never given up returning to them. The Tomb of Rachel was painted on the walls of synagogues around the world so that no one would ever forget it. Jews who managed to eek out an existence in the Holy Land visited these sites when they were allowed. In Hebron, they were only allowed to go onto the staircase into the shrine.

  4. ed leonard
    ed leonard says:

    This is a call for the removal of all U.S. financial support of UNESCO because of its inconsistent behavior regarding its stated mission. How would the executive board members of UNESCO react if a proposal and declaration came to change the names of the tombstones of their family members for an arbitrary reason?

    UNESCO pursues an illogical goal or renaming sites on land legally purchased by the first Jewish person (Abraham). They pursue that illogical goal with a logical method of UNESCO DECLARATION. Let the words and actions of the UNESCO executive board return upon their own positions and let them either be removed or pay their own way at the UN with their presumptuous and biased opinion.

    Their declaration is neither educational, scientific nor cultural. It is prejudicial. Let them lose their funding immediately.

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