UNESCO Can’t Admit a Biblical City’s Connection to Jewish History

Like other organs of the United Nations, the supposedly apolitical Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is often used as a weapon for attacking Israel. Look no further than its decision last weekend to make the city of Jericho a world heritage site. The editors of the Jerusalem Post explain:

Ancient Jericho is indeed a site of great historical importance. Largely regarded as one of the oldest cities in the world, [the city bears] evidence of human settlement stretching back some 11,000 years. It appears numerous times throughout the Bible and was notably the site of the Israelites’ first battle in their conquest of the Land of Israel, as documented in the book of Joshua. The city was an important center during the Hasmonean and Herodian periods and the remains of several spectacular synagogues have been uncovered in and around the city.

UNESCO’s description omits all that. The carefully worded text that accompanied the site’s designation refers to “vestiges from the Middle Bronze Age” that “reveal the presence of a large Canaanite city-state occupied by a socially complex population.” And that’s where it ends. Absent is any reference to the city’s Jewish history or its centrality to the biblical narrative.

But perhaps the most outrageous part of UNESCO’s designation of the site is its collusion with Palestinian efforts not only to erase the city’s Jewish heritage but to claim it as their own, by ascribing it to the “state of Palestine.” This is not the first time that UNESCO has played along with Palestinian attempts at historical appropriation. Three more West Bank locations have been designated as world heritage sites and ascribed to the “state of Palestine” since 2012.

The United States rejoined UNESCO in July in large part, it said, to serve as a check on the body’s anti-Israel bias.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Jericho, Palestinian statehood, UNESCO


Ordinary Gazans Are Turning against Hamas—and Its Western Sympathizers

In the past few days, difficult-to-confirm reports have emerged of unrest in the Gaza Strip, and of civilians throwing stones at Hamas operatives. A recent video from Al Jazeera showed a Gazan declaring that “God will bring Qatar and Turkey to account” for the suffering of Palestinians in the current war. Being an agent of the Qatari government, the journalist turned away, and then pushed the interviewee with his hand to prevent him from getting near the microphone. Yet this brief exchange contributes much to the ongoing debate about Palestinian support for Hamas, and belies the frequent assertion by experts that the Israeli campaign is only “further radicalizing” the population.

For some time, Joseph Braude has worked with a number of journalists and researchers to interview ordinary Gazans under circumstances where they don’t fear reprisals. He notes that the sorts of opinions they share are rarely heard in Western media, let alone on Al Jazeera or Iran-sponsored outlets:

[A] resident of Khan Younis describes how locals in a bakery spontaneously attacked a Hamas member who had come to buy bread. The incident, hardly imaginable before the present war, reflects a widespread feeling of “disgust,” he says, after Gazan aspirations for “a dignified life and to live in peace” were set back by the Hamas atrocities of October 7.

Fears have grown that this misery will needlessly be prolonged by Westerners who strive, in effect, to perpetuate Hamas rule, according to one Gazan woman. Addressing protesters who have taken to the streets to demand a ceasefire on behalf of Palestinians, she calls on them to make a choice: “Either support the Palestinian people or the Hamas regime that oppresses them.” If protesters harbor a humanitarian motive, she asks, “Why don’t we see them demonstrating against Hamas?”

“Hamas is the destruction of the Palestinian people. We’ve had enough. They need to be wiped out—because if they remain, the people will be wiped out.”

You can watch videos of some of the interviews by clicking the link below.

Read more at Free Press

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion