Update 12:06 pm: Unofficial report from Beersheva of impending terrorist rocket siren followed by two loud explosions. Police now on scene.
Update 9 am: Central Israel undergoing missile drills today.
Whenever you hear the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ applied to Israel, it is always to foist the absurd canard that Israelis are ethnically cleansing Palestinians. This canard is particularly absurd in light of the exponential increase of the Arabic population in Israel and in Judea and Samaria as well as the extraordinary attempts that Israel has made to protect Palestinian cultural and religious sites.
It is also absurd because exactly the opposite is true. The primary attempt to ethnically cleanse anyone in this land has been the attempt through the millennia to ethnically cleanse Jews from the land of Israel.
From the time that the Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel between 740 and 715 BCE, deporting most of the enslaved Jewish population to the far reaches of the Assyrian Empire and resettling thousands of Assyrians into Samaria, to the Babylonian conquest of Judea in 586 BCE which resulted in Jews again being deported in shackles to the east, there has been a concerted yet unsuccessful attempt by the world to eradicate Judaism from this land.
It was an attempt that accelerated between the years 66 CE and 135 CE during which over a million Jews were killed here and hundreds of thousands more were taken into slavery and deported during three wars of liberation against the Romans. So intent were the Romans on de-Judaizing this land that the Roman emperor Hadrian coined a new word “Palestine” to take the place of “Judea” and “Israel” and renamed every city in Judea and Samaria with a Roman name.
After the Romans, came the Muslims who invaded the region in 635 CE. Not content to slaughter the Jews (and Christians) they found here, the Muslims took it upon themselves to try and usurp every aspect of Jewish cultural and religious identity–in an unsuccessful attempt to convert all of the inhabitants of “Palestine” to Islam. Every important Jewish religious site was eventually topped with a mosque such as the Temple Mount, the Cave of the Patriarchs, and Rachel’s Tomb.
Fast forward to today. Like the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Romans, and the invading Muslims before them, the current crop of Palestinians have decreed that Judea and Samaria must be free of all Jews.
Last year while addressing an emergency session of Arab League foreign ministers in Doha, Qatar, Mahmoud Abbas asserted in Arabic: “When an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital is established, we won’t allow the presence of one Jew in it.” The Palestinian Liberation Organization representative to the U.S. went even further to say that all Jews would be removed from a future state of Palestine.
And just like the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Romans, and the invading Muslims before them, one crucial aspect of the Palestinian drive to cleanse ‘Palestine’ of Jews is the attempt to erase all Jewish connection to Judea and Samaria.
This is where UNESCO comes in.
Even before Monday’s vote to admit the Palestinians as full members of UNESCO, the organization has already been hard at work in recent years doing all it can to cleanse Judea and Samaria of Judaism. For example, UNESCO declared last year that Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs are ‘Muslim mosques’–with no mention whatsoever of their Jewish roots.
Yesterday, Hamdan Taha, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Antiquities at the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism, announced that UNESCO would immediately be asked to add 20 historical and archaeological locations to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Taha has been clear about the Palestinian agenda: “All of the periods in local history, including that of the biblical Israelites are part of Palestinian history. Digs like the one in Nablus give Palestinians the opportunity to participate in writing or rewriting the history of Palestine from its primary sources.” It is the same agenda that led to the Palestinian report last year that claimed that the Western Wall has “never been a part of what is called the Jewish Temple.”
What is first on the list of the 20 sites that the Palestinians want to be declared as “Palestinian World Heritage sites”?
The old city of Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity. This is laughable in the context that Palestinian Muslims have driven most of the Palestinian Christians out of the city. But after all, if UNESCO could have declared last year that the Jewish Maimonides was Muslim (even going so far as to rename him “Moussa ibn Maimoun”), it doesn’t take much of a stretch to declare that Jesus was a Palestinian–and probably a Muslim too.
Other “Palestinian” sites that UNESCO will undoubtedly approve are the old cities of Hevron and Shechem (Nablus), archaeological sites in Jericho, Qumran on the banks of the Dead Sea, the Umm al-Rihan forest west of Jenin (which the Palestinians have been systematically deforesting in order to build illegal homes and mosques (!) in what Israel has declared is a ‘nature preserve’) and the South Hevron Hills–all of which are intimately connected with Judaism.
So . . . the next time you hear ‘ethnic cleansing’, remember that the Palestinians are the latest in a long line of those attempting to ethnically cleanse Jews from the land of Israel–and that UNESCO is one of their accomplices.
*Please note dear reader your humble servant’s deliberate misuse of the term “West Bank”. I’m sure that regular readers of this blog can understand why I (deceptively) used it this morning.