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.
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?”
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.
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185 EX/Decision 15
(page 16 of the linked doc)
Implementation of 184 EX/Decision 37 [page 45 of the linked doc] on “the two Palestinian sites of al-Haaram al-Ibrahīmī/Tomb of the Patriarchs in al-Khalīl/Hebron and the Bilāl bin Rabāh Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem” (185 EX/15 [resumen]; 185 EX/52 Rev. [propuesta de resolución de la directora])
N.B. After considering this item and following a vote taken by roll-call , with 44 votes in favour, 1 vote against and 12 abstentions, the United States of America having voted against, the Programme and External Relations Commission recommended that the Executive Board adopt the following draft decision:
The Executive Board,
- Recalling 184 EX/Decision 37 [page 45 of the linked doc], and having examined document 185 EX/15,
- Also recalling resolutions and decisions of UNESCO on the protection of the cultural heritage in the occupied Arab territories, as well as the provisions of the four Geneva Conventions (1949), the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954) and the related Protocols and the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972),
- Further recalling the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970),
- Affirming that nothing in the present decision, which aims at the safeguarding of the cultural heritage located in the occupied Arab territories, shall in any way affect the relevant United Nations resolutions and decisions, in particular the relevant Security Council resolutions,
- Sharing the concern expressed by the Director-General regarding the announcement made by the Israeli authorities that two sites, namely al-Haaram al-Ibrahīmī/Tomb of the Patriarchs in the city of al-Khalīl/Hebron and the Mosque of Bilāl bin Rabāh (Tomb of Rachel), in Bethlehem, both located in the occupied Palestinian territories, are to be included in the Israeli national heritage list,
- Also sharing the conviction affirmed by the international community that the two sites are of religious significance for Judaism, Christianity and Islam,
- Reaffirms that the two sites are an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories and that any unilateral action by the Israeli authorities is to be considered a violation of international law, the UNESCO conventions and the United Nations and Security Council resolutions;
- Regrets the Israeli authorities’ decision to include the two sites in the Israeli national heritage list;
- Urges the Israeli authorities to abide by international law and the relevant international conventions and decisions;
- Also urges the Israeli authorities to remove the two sites from the Israeli national heritage list;
- Thanks the Director-General for her commitment to strengthening UNESCO’s financial and technical assistance to the Palestinian educational and cultural institutions in compliance with the UNESCO General Conference resolution at its 35th session;
- Invites the Director-General to submit to it a follow-up report at its 186th session and decides to include this item in the agenda of the 186th session of the Executive Board.