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Rabbi of Western Wall denounces UNESCO decisions

October 31, 2010 18:52

UN board expressed "deep concern" about Israeli activity at the Cave of the Patriarchs, Rachel's Tomb, Old City.


Tomb of Patriarchs 311. (photo credit:Ariel Jerozolimski)

The Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall strongly criticized the decisions adopted by the UNESCO Executive Board two weeks ago regarding holy sites in Israel.

"This decision is contrary to history and the truth, and political considerations are behind it," Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz said in a statement. He noted that the portion of the Torah that mentions Abraham's purchase of the Cave of the Patriarchs was read across the world this past Shabbat, providing written proof that the area belongs to the Jewish nation.

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"We have to condemn this organization, which is always acting against Israel, and to protest against their one-sided decisions which are undertaken without learning the history or understanding them," Rabinowitz continued. "The civilized world which knows the history should join us in our struggle to demand a change in the decision."

On October 21, the UNESCO Executive Board approved five decisions about holy sites in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, including a strong denunciation of the Gaza blockade, the security barrier, and any "unilateral action" by Israel at Rachel's Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs. UNESCO also expressed "deep concern" about Israeli excavations in the Old City, especially in the area of the Al Aqsa mosque and the Mugrahbi bridge.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's executive board is made up of the 58 member states and meets twice a year.
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