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Israel’s Latest Sin—Honoring Its Heritage
Frontpagemagazine ^ | 3-2-10 | P. David Hornik

Posted on 03/02/2010 4:19:23 AM PST by SJackson

When the Israeli cabinet announced the other day that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, would be included in a list of Israeli “heritage” sites, it touched off a wave of Palestinian violence and threats—along with diplomatic protests that were all too concordant with the Palestinian bullying.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has launched the “heritage” program as a way of strengthening Israelis’ connection with their Jewish and Zionist roots, initially left the two West Bank sites (though other West Bank sites were included) off the list, apparently fearing various kinds of fallout. Netanyahu was only persuaded to include them at the last minute by Shas, a religious party that is part of his coalition.

Sure enough, the West Bank heated up with an increase in rocks and Molotov cocktails thrown at Israeli vehicles, and, particularly, daily disturbances in Hebron, where crowds of Palestinians burned tires and threw rocks and bottles at Israeli soldiers. By Sunday the disturbances had spread to Jerusalem.

On the verbal plane a spokesman for the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad terror organization declared that “If the Israelis continue to damage our mosques and holy places, we will respond [i.e., mount terror attacks] within the Zionist territory”—alluding to the fact that the Cave of the Patriarchs is a compound with a mosque as well as a synagogue, while Rachel’s Tomb has recently been claimed to be a mosque as well.

Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas prime minister in Gaza, piped up with “Jerusalem is ours, the land is ours, and God is with us. We will not accept these decisions….” And Mahmoud Abbas, president of the official, West Bank-based Palestinian Authority and considered secular and a moderate, was hardly more moderate in his reaction, calling the decision to add the two sites to the heritage list “a serious provocation which may lead to a religious war.”

The U.S., too, voiced its objection as “State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the administration viewed the move as ‘provocative’ and unhelpful to the goal of getting the two sides back to the table,” and that “U.S. displeasure with the designations of the Cave of the Patriarchs in the flashpoint town of Hebron and the traditional tomb of the biblical matriarch Rachel in Bethlehem had been conveyed to senior Israeli officials by American diplomats.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also complained, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said “the European Union calls on Israel to refrain from provocative acts.”

On the Israeli side, a particularly indignant rejoinder came from Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, who called Abbas’s statement:

“insolent and outrageous and another attempt to rewrite history. The Cave of the Patriarchs, like Rachel’s Tomb, are Jewish heritage sites pointing to the deep 3,700-year affiliation of the people of Israel to their land.

“The people of Israel’s affiliation to the land did not begin—as the Palestinians are trying to claim—in the past 100 years, but when the Cave of the Patriarchs was bought by Abraham from Ephron the Hittite for 400 silver shekels and Rachel’s Tomb was purchased for a full price in the Binyamin region.

“They are both still mentioned in the Torah in the Book of Genesis, and no one can take that away from the people of Israel. The wild Palestinian attack is aimed at…rewriting history. This is a continuation of their ideological objection to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.”

Netanyahu, for his part, was more conciliatory, stressing Israel’s commitment to religious freedom and that “this policy is implemented in the Cave of the Patriarchs as well, where the State is working constantly to guarantee appropriate prayer conditions for [both] Jews and Muslims.”

A few observations are in order. First, Israel did not announce that it was annexing the two sites, only that they had been added to a list designated for renovations and for encouraging visits by Israelis. Treating these two sites as major foci of the Jewish heritage is not a political statement; it is simply, as Shalom emphasized, a recognition of reality. But whoever envisions the purported “two-state solution” as one in which even minimal Jewish rights would be upheld within the Palestinian state should take note of the contempt toward Jewish history and values that was, once again, displayed by Palestinians this week.

Second, as alluded to by Netanyahu, Israel’s record in terms of honoring non-Jewish religious rights in the West Bank and Jerusalem is indeed exemplary—or even goes too far. On the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel grants administrative control to the Muslim Waqf, which allows non-Muslims to visit there only at restricted hours. In Hebron and elsewhere, Muslims have had full freedom of worship; while other Jewish sites in Nablus and Jericho have been damaged and desecrated. That the Palestinian behavior this week stems from an Islamic supremacism that Israel, with its democratic norms, is unable to appease—is a bit more reality than Israel’s diplomatic critics want to contemplate.

And so, while the U.S., UN, and EU rebukes come as no great surprise, they are of a piece with a long-held axiom that when such “Israeli-Palestinian tensions” emerge, the side that bullies and threatens war gets the nod while the side capable of upholding pluralism gets censured.

TOPICS: Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs; israel; rachelstomb; religionofpieces; unesco

1 posted on 03/02/2010 4:19:23 AM PST by SJackson
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To: sauropod


2 posted on 03/02/2010 4:25:27 AM PST by sauropod (Ill behaved women rarely make dinner.)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.


3 posted on 03/02/2010 4:28:12 AM PST by SJackson (In wine there is wisdom, In beer there is freedom, In water there is bacteria.)
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To: SJackson
When the Israeli cabinet announced the other day that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, would be included in a list of Israeli “heritage” sites, it touched off a wave of Palestinian violence and threats...

Who cares? If it's a day ending in 'Y' there are muslims somewhere pissed off about something.

4 posted on 03/02/2010 4:51:24 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: SJackson

Muslims need to be banished to the “Land of Perpetual Tickling.”

5 posted on 03/02/2010 4:56:42 AM PST by TPOOH (I wish I could have been Jerry Reed.)
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To: SJackson
Quiz time. What three places in the Land of Israel that Jews not allowed to come and go freely?

Answer: the three places the Scriptures record a deed that was paid for:
- Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs
- Tomb of Joseph
- The Temple Mount

Is that ironic, or by design? May HaShem remember what Amalek has done... and blot out his name forever!
6 posted on 03/02/2010 5:03:45 AM PST by Tzfat
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To: SJackson
I have been to the Cave of Machpelah.
The mosque erected over it is extremely creepy and inappropriate.
The six persons buried there are:

Abraham and his wife Sarah.(NOT Hagar!)
Isaac(NOT Ishmael!) and his wife Rebecca
Jacob,AKA ISRAEL,(NOT his Twin Brother Esau!) and his first wife Leah.
Jacob's beloved Second Wife Rachel is buried in "Rachel's Tomb" (DUH!) in Bethlehem, which the Palestinians ALSO want to usurp.

We have seen how well the Palis take care of Holy Sites by the way they trashed and burned the Tomb of the Patriarch Joseph in Nablus, Which had been UNDISTURBED for over 3000 YEARS until those jerks got custody of it.

I am sorry if I sound bitter. They just make me SO angry with their destruction and desecration of Holy Places of Memory.

And I am not even Jewish!

7 posted on 03/02/2010 5:19:17 AM PST by left that other site (Your Mi'KMaq Paddy Whacky Bass Playing Biker Buddy)
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To: left that other site

I have read thank you.

8 posted on 03/02/2010 5:50:23 AM PST by Big Horn (Rebuild the GOP to a conservative party)
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To: SJackson

Strange, i write about this six days ago and get slammed because it’s not news. NOW it’s on every ping list. NOTE: This is a biog deal, and yes it’s nothing new but in the eyes of the world and Islamic prpaganda it looks like a land grab to those not educated, therefore this is a BIOG deal, wars have been fought for much less, i/e. Clinton, a BJ, Kosovo.

9 posted on 03/02/2010 1:21:57 PM PST by Karliner ("Things are more like they are now than they ever were before."DDE)
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To: SJackson

From the other side of his mouth, however, Bibi is trying to exclude voters from Judah and Shomron and the Golan from the upcoming Likud Party primary. No matter to me anyway, because the Misrad Hapnim (Interior Ministry, a/k/a Miserable Panim) is still holding up my family’s Aliya application, and that of a famous doctor from India (remember Mumbai?) also living in Kiryat Arba. So we can’t vote.

10 posted on 03/02/2010 1:39:40 PM PST by Eleutheria5 ( Two-state solution: A bad idea whose time has gone.)
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Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
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11 posted on 03/02/2010 4:47:45 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Freedom is Priceless.)
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To: left that other site

Thanks for the ping.

12 posted on 03/02/2010 9:07:02 PM PST by Freedom'sWorthIt
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