UNESCO’s Jerusalem Resolution Insults Both Judaism and Christianity

Oct. 31 2016

Last week, UNESCO passed a resolution condemning Israel for fictive violations of the Muslim holy places on the Temple Mount, without making any mention of the fact that they are located on an ancient Jewish sacred site. Charles Krauthammer comments:

[The resolution] refers to and treats [the Temple Mount] as an exclusively Muslim site, a deliberate attempt to eradicate its connection—let alone its centrality—to the Jewish people and Jewish history.

This Orwellian absurdity, part of a larger effort to deny the Jewish connection to their ancestral homeland, is an insult not just to Judaism but to Christianity. It makes a mockery of the Gospels, which chronicle the story of a Galilean Jew whose life and ministry unfolded throughout the Holy Land, most especially in Jerusalem and the Temple. If this is nothing but a Muslim site, what happens to the very foundation of Christianity, which occurred 600 years before Islam even came into being?

But while such an attack is merely symbolic, Krauthammer notes that the UN could do much more serious damage should President Obama, as has been rumored, decide to support a Security Council resolution declaring a Palestinian state in the areas Israel seized from Egypt and Jordan in 1967:

There is a reason such a move has been resisted by eight previous U.S. administrations: it overthrows the central premise of Middle East peacemaking—land for peace. . . . Land for peace would be replaced by land for nothing. Endorsing in advance a Palestinian state and what would essentially be a full Israeli withdrawal removes the Palestinian incentive to negotiate and strips Israel of territorial bargaining chips of the kind it used, for example, to achieve peace with Egypt.

The result would be not just perpetual war but incalculable damage to Israel. . . . [C]onsider but one example: [Israel] would now be open to the absurd judicial charge that [its] possession of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem constitutes a criminal occupation of another country. Israel would be hauled endlessly into courts (both national and international) to face sanctions, boycotts (now under color of law), and arrest of its leaders.

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More about: Barack Obama, Christianity, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Jerusalem, Judaism, Temple Mount, UNESCO

 

Israel’s Nation-State Law and the Hysteria of the Western Media

Aug. 17 2018

Nearly a month after it was passed by the Knesset, the new Basic Law defining Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people” is still causing outrage in the American and European press. The attacks, however, are almost uniformly incommensurate with this largely symbolic law, whose text, in the English translation found on the Knesset website, is barely over 400 words in length. Matthew Continetti comments:

Major journalistic institutions have become so wedded to a pro-Palestinian, anti-Benjamin Netanyahu narrative, in which Israel is part of a global trend toward nationalist authoritarian populism, that they have abdicated any responsibility for presenting the news in a dispassionate and balanced manner. The shameful result of this inflammatory coverage is the normalization of anti-Israel rhetoric and policies and widening divisions between Israel and the diaspora.

For example, a July 18, 2018, article in the Los Angeles Times described the nation-state law as “granting an advantageous status to Jewish-only communities.” But that is false: the bill contained no such language. (An earlier version might have been interpreted in this way, but the provision was removed.) Yet, as I write, the Los Angeles Times has not corrected the piece that contained the error. . . .

Such through-the-looking-glass analysis riddled [the five] news articles and four op-eds the New York Times has published on the matter at the time of this writing. In these pieces, “democracy” is defined as results favored by the New York Times editorial board, and Israel’s national self-understanding as in irrevocable conflict with its democratic form of government. . . .

The truth is that democracy is thriving in Israel. . . .  The New York Times quoted Avi Shilon, a historian at Ben-Gurion University, who said [that] “Mr. Netanyahu and his colleagues are acting like we are still in the battle of 1948, or in a previous era.” Judging by the fallacious, paranoid, fevered, and at times bigoted reaction to the nation-state bill, however, Bibi may have good reason to believe that Israel is still in the battle of 1948, and still defending itself against assaults on the very idea of a Jewish state.

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Israel's Basic Law, Israeli democracy, Media, New York Times