by Nadav Shragai
The resolutions compel us to the vital acknowledgement that the Land of Israel is not just a haven, it's a destiny, whose holy sites and historical spots are the cradle of our people's birth, which still tie in to our present and our future here.
With each new deluded resolution, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization makes itself look more and more ridiculous, and less and less relevant. Where will the ignorance, lies, and absurdity lead? Will UNESCO decide at some point that the Jews are descended from Islam? Perhaps they will adopt the Islamist definition of Jews as nothing but "monkeys and pigs"? Who knows? It may ultimately conclude what Muslim incitement says is the heart of the matter: that Jews' very existence "desecrates" the Muslim-ness of Palestine.
But every cloud has a silver lining. There is one advantage to the blatant ridiculousness of UNESCO's series of resolutions about Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, Rachel's Tomb, and now the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron: they hold a mirror up to our faces. They force us to return to our roots, to study them, to delve into them, and understand that we are not temporary guests in this country. We aren't here just because we were born here or made aliyah. The resolutions compel us to the vital acknowledgement that the Land of Israel is not just a haven, it's a destiny, whose holy sites and historical spots are the cradle of our people's birth, which still tie in to our present and our future here.
To date, Israel has ceded 97% of Hebron to the Palestinians. If it weren't for the Jewish community there that has been holding on to the city's historic core by the skin of its teeth despite what happened in the riots of 1929, when the city's Jewish residents were slaughtered, today, the Cave of the Patriarchs, Abraham Avinu Synagogue, Beit Hadassah, Shavei Hevron Yeshiva and other Jewish sites -- the 3% that remains in our hands -- would already belong to the Palestinians, too.
David Ben-Gurion once defined Hebron as "the neighbor and predecessor of Jerusalem." He understood very well what Hebron meant to the Jewish people, and even warned that it would be a "great mistake" not to establish a growing Jewish community there as soon as possible. Renowned politician Yigal Allon helped the Hebron settlers build Kiryat Arba. Author Shmuel Yosef Agnon also knew to ignore the vats of venom the Israeli media poured on the founder of the renewed Jewish community in Hebron, Rabbi Moshe Levinger. Agnon called Levinger an "emissary" and predicted that "future generations would write the book about his deeds, which restored the sons to the city of their forefathers."
Maybe, thanks to UNESCO, school field trips to the Cave of the Patriarchs will be reinstated. Maybe because of this resolution, the government will finally agree to expand the most frozen Jewish community in Judea and Samaria and improve the very unwelcoming conditions that greet visitors to the Cave of the Patriarchs. Maybe now some of us will stop calling the story of Abraham's purchase of the cave and the field around it from Ephron the Hittite "religification."
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