A Holocaust survivor group joins world leaders urging UNESCO to reject a Palestinian effort to list Hebron as a “Palestinian heritage” site.
A group of Polish-born Holocaust survivors have urged Warsaw to reject a Palestinian effort at UNESCO, the cultural organization of the United Nations, to have Hebron listed as an endangered Palestinian heritage site.
The letter to Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski was written by twelve survivors who now live in Israel, Israel’s Ynet news reported.
Poland is hosting the 41st gathering of the World Heritage Committee in Krakow this week.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, founder of the nonprofit Shurat Hadin, which helped organize the letter, called the UNESCO effort a “pitiful resolution that creates a Palestinian narrative that is a complete lie.”
“UNESCO is an anti-Semitic body working to erase the people of Israel’s historical ties with their homeland and to promote a false Palestinian narrative,” Darshan-Leitner observed. “Hundreds of Jewish cemeteries in Poland were desecrated and destroyed during the Holocaust. We’re asking the Polish government not to take part in desecrating another grave in Hebron.”
Undermining UNESCO’s Seriousness
Washington’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, similarly blasted the proposed resolution in a letter to both UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bukova.
Noting that the Cave of the Patriarchs, which is holy to all three major monotheistic religions, is “under no immediate threat,” Haley wrote, “Such a designation risks undermining the seriousness such an assessment by UNESCO should have,” especially when there are cultural sites “under real and imminent threat of destruction today” in Congo, Libya, Iraq, and Syria.
Haley added that the proposed resolution “is particularly ill-timed and unfortunate,” given the Trump administration’s efforts to improve chances of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
Last week, former Israeli foreign minister and peace negotiator Tzipi Livni slammed the proposed resolution, saying that it “will not harm my people’s connection to [Jerusalem and Hebron], but [it] will hurt UNESCO and the ability to promote common interests.” She emphasized that the organization “must not be turned into a political arena” by “member states that exploit UNESCO for political purposes and to open conflicts.”
Ironically, a recently examined ancient inscription on a mosque near Hebron shed light on how, up to the mid-20th century, the Muslim world associated Jerusalem’s Temple Mount with the two Jewish sanctuaries that once stood there — a historical reality that has since been erased from the Palestinian narrative in an effort to undermine Jewish claims to the land.
David Hazony, editor of The Tower, wrote in 2007 that “Palestinian leaders, writers, and scholars have embarked on a campaign of intellectual erasure […] aimed at undermining the Jewish claim to any part of the land.”
By: The Tower