In 2010, Israel included two holy sites, in Hebron and Bethlehem, on a register of 150 national heritage sites.
The U.N. Education Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) responded by defining these sites as “Palestinian.”
“The attempt to detach the people of Israel from its heritage is absurd,” the statement said. “If the places where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish nation are buried, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Leah and Rachel some 4,000 years ago are not part of the Jewish heritage then what is?”
And, last week:
The U.N. Education Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) executive board has adopted two resolutions condemning Israel for activities at locations whose religious significance for Jews goes back thousands of years….
UNESCO in 2011 became the first U.N. agency to admit “Palestine,” a step that resulted in a loss of U.S. funding. Until then, American taxpayers accounted for 22 percent of the Paris-based agency’s operating budget.
In a series of recommendations to executive board, the external relations commission sided with Palestinian claims to a site in Hebron and a site in Bethlehem.
It also deplored a decision by the Israeli government not to comply with an earlier UNESCO directive to remove the two sites from an Israel national heritage list.
The Hebron site is the Cave of the Patriarchs, the traditional burial place of the Jewish patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The site in Bethlehem in the traditional burial site of Rachel, Jacob’s wife. Hebron was also the capital of the kingdom of Israel for seven years before King David moved his seat to Jerusalem some 3,000 years ago, as recorded in 2 Samuel 5.
Hebron and Bethlehem both fall within the area claimed by the Palestinians for a future state. A resolution adopted by the UNESCO board reaffirmed an earlier stance that the sites “are an integral part of Palestine.”
….UNESCO’s admission of “Palestine” in late 2011 triggered a U.S. funding cutoff mandated by a 1990 law barring financial support for “the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states.”
The move cost UNESCO more than one-fifth of its operating budget, sparking a financial crisis for the agency.
Since then the Obama administration has repeatedly sought waiver authority to enable it to resume funding….
American Thinker: UNESCO demands removal of Cave of the Patriarchs from historic registry