Two Jewish biblical holy sites were declared Islamic Wednesday in a resolution passed by a body of the United Nations, which is also alleging that Palestinians have been “mistreated” by the state of Israel in Jerusalem’s Old City at the Temple Mount.
According to Israel, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNSECO) is working together with Palestinians to rewrite biblical history. It claims that the UN body is effectively conspiring with the terrorist-led Middle East group of occupiers to transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious battle.
“UNSECO has become an instrument in the hands of the Arabs and the Palestinians,” CBN News reports on Israel’s take concerning the situation.
The Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem were proclaimed on Wednesday to be an integral part of Palestine — a declaration made in the resolution that was passed on Wednesday.
Prior to this resolve, both biblical holy sites were claimed to be mosques by the Palestinians and acknowledged by UNSECO.
A move toward statehood?
According to Emmanuel Nahshon, the spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the new declaration works as a propagation tool for the Palestinians in their campaign to forward their political narrative. It is reportedly being viewed as a way of gaining more sympathy from the world to deem the Palestinians as victims of Israel’s so-called oppressive regime — part of their ultimate plan to gain statehood.
"It is an attempt by the Arab side, and by the Palestinians, to change history and pretend as if those places, which are holy places for Judaism, which have been holy places for Judaism for thousands of years, are actually Palestinian or Muslim holy places." Nahshon explained to CBN News about the ongoing movement.
Despite the facts resting clearly on Israel’s side, according to Christian biblical scholars and Jewish historians, world media outlets have been disseminating accounts supported by sympathizers of Muslims at the UN, as well as by most Arab populations in the Middle East.
“Historical evidence indicates that the biblical forefathers — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — were buried in the Cave of the Patriarchs, along with their wives,” CBN News’ Chris Mitchell and Julie Stahl report. “The site of Rachel's Tomb is believed to be the burial place of the biblical matriarch, Rachel, the favored wife of Jacob.”
But things could have been a lot worse for Israel, as another popular biblical landmark was also nearly lost in the recent resolution.
“The resolution stopped short of including the Western Wall as part of the al-Aksa compound, as Palestinians had hoped,” the CBN News report continued. “It would have renamed the Western Wall Plaza ‘al-Buraq,’ after Mohammed's winged horse.”
Nahshon says that is fortunate that UNSECO and other Muslim-sympathizing groups have power checks — otherwise, much of what has been considered part of Israel’s heritage since it reformed as nation back in 1948 could be claimed by Islamic interests.
"Even such an organization — such as UNESCO, which has become a puppet in the hands of the Palestinians — there is a limit to what you can do,” the Israeli spokesman insisted, according to CBN News. “But I have no doubt that they will try again."
Who’s the aggressor?
In the resolution, Israel is accused of using “aggression” on the Temple Mount against the Palestinians, but most objective accounts from reliable sources confirm the opposite.
“Palestinians have repeatedly attacked police and visitors to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism,” Mitchell and Stahl, both based in CBN News’ Jerusalem Bureau, explain. “The current wave of terrorism is a reaction to what they say are Israeli attempts to change the status quo. Israel denies any changes there.”
Nahshon corroborates the account, noting that Palestinians often instigate conflicts on the holy cite to manipulate sympathy to their advantage in the world’s eyes.
"This Palestinian initiative is certainly related to what we live here on the ground — Palestinian violence, Palestinian incitement — and also the attempt to transform a conflict into a religious conflict," Nahshon insisted.
According to Nahshon, political gain and winning statehood aren’t the only consequences of giving holy sites over to the Palestinians. Even though Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Palestinians for setting the tomb of Joseph —the biblical patriarch — ablaze, the Israeli spokesman argues that such incidents would proliferate if more holy sites are designated as Islamic.
"The Palestinian arson of Joseph's Tomb demonstrates very clearly what would be the fate of Jewish holy sites if they were under Palestinian control," Israel’s spokesman added.
Need for concern
Regent University Professor and Department Chair of Biblical Studies Dr. Cornelius Bekker argues that history is merely repeating itself with the latest attacks and claims — something that should deeply concern Christians.
"The history of Israel is about God's choice," asserted Bekker, who teaches on the CBN campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia. "God chose Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, the very tomb here that's now been set on fire.”
The biblical scholar emphasizes that Christians in America are rooted in the biblical history of Israel, stressing that they must stand strong with Israel in its battle to preserve its rich heritage given to it by God.
“And so we feel a kinship with Israel because it's about God's choice and it's our history,” Bekker concluded. “Jesus was a Jew, Paul was a Jew, [members of] the early Church were all Jewish."