One would think, rather reasonably, that an organization whose mission is “to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information” would care about conveying truth.
Normally, one would think that.
But if you did, you would be wrong. At least insofar as UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is concerned. The words of its mission statement, reproduced above, have been rendered meaningless. They are no longer a statement of high purpose, but rather a cloaking slogan. They cleverly hide sinister motives and malign behaviour.
No other conclusion makes sense in light of the resolution UNESCO’s executive board adopted last month that stripped the Temple Mount in Jerusalem of any historical, theological or cultural connection to the Jewish People.
The resolution was a hodge-podge of condemnations against the Jewish state, which is referred to throughout the document as “the occupying power.” UNESCO’s executive board condemned the Jewish presence and activities on the Temple Mount, in Hebron and at the tomb of Rachel, all of which are identified only by their Arabic names. The resolution also mentions Gaza.
As Alan Baker, Israel’s former ambassador to Canada, wrote in a sharp rebuke of the resolution, UNESCO “pointedly and deliberately denies, ignores, and seeks to delete from history, any historic, cultural and religious link between the Jewish People, the Jewish religion and Jerusalem, including specifically its holy religious site of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, the Machpela Cave in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem.
“It ignores and denies the age-old indigenous Jewish historic linkage of the area to Judaism, Jewish history and religion and ignores the existence of the remnants of Jewish holy sites and the fact that this area is universally recognized by all as ‘Temple Mount,’ attesting to the fact that this was indeed the site of the Jewish Temples, and as such the cradle of all Jewish existence and history.”
In his commemoration of Yom Hashoah v’Hagvurah, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out the true essence of the travesty perpetrated by the UNESCO executive board.
“Pay attention to what is happening here. A global organization responsible for preserving history is offhandedly rewriting a basic fact of human history. This is willful ignorance. Even worse, it is an addiction to a lie and its dissemination around the world until it is accepted as fact. This is precisely how Jew haters have acted throughout the ages.”
But, of course, this was the aim of the countries – Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan – that put forward the resolution. Their intention is to place on the record of international institutions that are considered credible by most people worldwide a falsified history of the Jewish People, a history bereft of a Jewish presence in ancient Israel and an ancient Israel bereft of its Judaism.
However, to deny the presence of Judaism in ancient Israel is also to deny the presence of Christianity there. If there is no Jewish history in Jerusalem, there is no Christian history. Period.
By altering Jewish history, the supporters of this UNESCO resolution are altering, indeed disfiguring, western history, too. This may not bother the Muslim-majority countries who were among the 33 states that approved the resolution. But it should have bothered France, Russia, Spain and Sweden, who also voted for the resolution. In so doing, they effectively repudiated their own heritage, their own historical, theological and cultural origins.
But at what cost to them?
The six countries that opposed the resolution – the United States, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom – understand that the hatred directed at the Jewish state ultimately rebounds against them, too.