Caroline Glick

You have to hand it to the Palestinians.

They decided to abandon the peace process and seek international recognition of the "State of Palestine" - a state in a de facto state of war with Israel. And they are pursuing their goal relentlessly.

This week their efforts bore their first fruit with the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) vote to accept "Palestine" as a full state member.

It is not a coincidence that the PLO/PA decided to apply for membership for "Palestine" at UNESCO first. Since 1974, UNESCO has been an enthusiastic partner in the Palestinians' bid to erase Jewish history, heritage and culture in the Land of Israel from the historical record.

In 1974, UNESCO voted to boycott Israel and to "withhold assistance from Israel in the fields of education, science and culture because of Israel's persistent alteration of historic features in Jerusalem."

UNESCO's moves to deny Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the rest of historic Israel have continued unabated ever since. For instance, in 1989, UNESCO condemned "Israel's occupation of Jerusalem," claiming it was destroying the city through "acts of interference, destruction and transformation."

In 1996, UNESCO held a symposium on Jerusalem at its Paris headquarters. No Jewish or Israeli groups were invited to participate.

Beginning in 1996, the Arab Wakf on the Temple Mount began systematically destroying artifacts of the Second Temple. The destruction was undertaken during illegal excavations under the Temple Mount carried out to construct an illegal, unlicensed mosque at Solomon's Stables.

UNESCO never bothered to condemn this act. It was silent despite the fact that the Wakf's actions constituted a grave breach of the very international laws related to antiquities and sacred sites that UNESCO is charter bound to protect. Similarly, UNESCO never condemned Palestinian desecration of Rachel's Tomb, of Joesph's Tomb or of any of the ancient synagogues in Gaza and Jericho which they razed to the ground.

The reason for UNESCO's miscarriage of its responsibilities is clear. Far from fulfilling its mission of protecting world heritage sites, since 1974 UNESCO has been a partner in one of the greatest cultural crimes in human history - the Palestinian and pan-Arab attempt to wipe Jewish history in the Land of Israel off the historical record.

And UNESCO's crimes in this area are unending. In 2009 it designated Jerusalem a "capital of Arab culture." In 2010, it designated Rachel's Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron as "Muslim mosques."


Caroline Glick

Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.

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