The Old City of Jerusalem (Photo: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com)
An outpouring of Christian support for Israel and decrying the UNESCO vote began during Sukkot, a Jewish holiday prophesied to have multi-national relevance.
The resolution passed last week on the day after Yom Kippur, and was ratified by UNESCO’s Executive Committee on Tuesday. It referred to the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, in Arabic terms, erasing any Jewish or Christian connection to the sites. It also solely blamed Israel (referred to as an “occupying nation”) for the violence in the past year, destructive construction on the Temple Mount by the Muslim Authority, and for its self-defensive blockade against shipping into Gaza.
The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ) issued a statement last Saturday decrying UNESCO’s “scandalous resolution”.
“This is tantamount to rewriting history and stripping these sites of their 4,000 years of Jewish and 2,000 years of Christian connection,” ICEJ Executive Director Dr. Jürgen Bühler wrote. “This represents a calculated insult against the Jewish people as well as an affront to over two billion Christians worldwide who know full well that as a faithful Jew, Jesus regularly visited the holy Jewish Temple on this site, taught there, and was zealous for its calling as a ‘house of prayer for all nations’.”
The ICEJ is currently hosting it’s 37th annual Feast of Tabernacles conference which brought over 5,000 Christian representatives from all over the world in support of Israel. The conference culminates in a spectacular parade displaying multinational support for Israel.
In an open act of defiance, 15 Christian parliamentarians from Europe, Africa and Latin America visited the Tomb of the Patriarchs and other parts of Jewish Hebron on Thursday. They are in Israel to participate in the annual Israel Allies Foundation conference, which is co-sponsored by the World Jewish Congress. This annual conference held during Sukkot brings Christian and Jewish pro-Israeli lawmakers from various countries. The tour of Hebron, organized by the Council of Judea and Samaria (Yesha), was the first time a group of foreign parliamentarians visited the Jewish community of Hebron.
The UNESCO resolution establishing an Islamic religious monopoly over the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron clearly rejects the Bible which states that Abraham purchased the site.
The participants included MEP Bas Belder, MEP Branislav Škripek, MP Jeppe Jakobsen of Denmark, MP Antero Laukkanen of Finland, MP Inga Bite of Latvia, MP Kees van der Staaij of the Netherlands, MP Peter Östman of Finland, MP Pablo Casado of Spain, MP Marek Krajčí of Slovakia, MP Alfred Heer of Switzerland, Minister Ruperto Long of Uruguay, Congressman Gerardo Amarilla of Uruguay, Congresswoman Karla Prendas of Costa Rica, MP Kenneth Meshoe of South Africa, and MP Reverend Matanga of Malawi.
On Thursday, 19 parliamentarians from 17 countries participating in the conference signed a declaration against UNESCO’s resolution, presenting it to Deputy Minister Michael Oren (Kulanu).
In addition to the visiting diplomats, over 30,000 Israelis visited the Biblical city in a call to protest the UNESCO resolution. It has been 50 years since Israel conquered Hebron and the Temple Mount in the Six Day War.
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.