By James Marlow
For the first time ever, the twenty-one-member World Heritage Committee inscribed the religious site, the Cvave of the Patriarchs and Hebron’s Old Town to the “State of Palestine.”
In a secret ballot, twelve countries voted in favour, three against and six abstained.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UNESCO, Carmel Shama HaCohen took out his cell phone in response and said, “Mr. Chairman. It’s my plumber in my apartment in Paris. There is a huge problem in my toilet and it is much more important than the decision you just adopted.”
Palestinian Ambassador Elias Sanbar thanked the nations who had supported his government’s third inscription on the list of World Heritage in Danger, since it was recognized as member state of UNESCO in 2011.
“The Palestinian state is sovereign even though it is under occupation. It is acting within its full rights when it takes the initiative to nominate this city for inscription on the World Heritage List – this city which is on its territory”, Sanbar said. Further, in his delusional mind he added, “I do think the message is clear but also a reminder is called for – my lands are the only lands in the whole world which are sacred to all three monotheistic religions.”
As Sanbar continued to spurt out a re-writing of history he said, “We have a shared tradition of pluralism which extends back centuries and which calls for empathy and solidarity.” Sadly he made no mention of the fact that when the Jordanians took over Hebron and Jerusalem in 1948 there was no empathy for the Jewish people who were refused to even visit these sites.
The bulk of the Palestinian Authority’s proposal to the World Heritage Committee focused on the Hebron’s Islamic history in its Old Town, starting from the Mamluk period in 1250 and through the Ottoman Empire which collapsed during World War I.
Located in the heart of Hebron’s Old Town the cave, where the three Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs are buried after the land was purchased by Abraham, houses both Jewish sanctuaries of worship and the Ibrahimi mosque. It is Judaism’s second-holiest site and Islam’s fourth. The structure built over the cave dates back to the Herodian era.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki praised the outcome in a statement: “This vote is considered a success in the diplomatic battle Palestine is fighting on all fronts.”
Of course Al-Maliki could not resist a gloat and said, “Despite the heated Israeli campaign, spreading of lies, the distortion and falsification of facts regarding Palestinian rights, the world approved our right to register Hebron and the Ibrahimi Mosque under Palestinian sovereignty and as world heritage sites.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that Israel will not resume its cooperation with UNESCO so long as it remains a political tool, rather than professional organization.
Chairperson of Israeli party Yesh Atid Yair Lapid responded, saying, “UNESCO’s decision to recognize the Cave of Patriarchs as a Palestinian heritage site is a despicable falsification of history. Does UNESCO not believe that the Bible is heritage? It’s a decision that at best stems from utter ignorance and at worst from hypocrisy and antisemitism.”