Hoenlein: UNESCO has distorted the history of the Jewish people

"Why would UNESCO devote their energy, time and resources to rewrite and distort the history of the Jewish people?” Hoenlein asked.

June 21, 2019 05:23
2 minute read.
Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, 2019.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, being interviewed for the Jerusalem Post, 2019.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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Over the past two years, UNESCO has been washing away evidence of Jewish history in Israel, according to Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“Why would UNESCO devote their energy, time and resources to rewrite and distort the history of the Jewish people?” Hoenlein asked the crowd at the Global Coalition 4 Israel conference in Jerusalem on Thursday.

“Why would they engage in a counterproductive and deceptive process over two years to deny 3,800 years of Jewish history and 2,000 years of Christian history?” he continued, referring to the UNESCO resolution that only used the Arabic name Haram al-Sharif to refer to the Temple Mount.

First, Hoenlein said, “they hyphenated traditional names with Arabic words, then within two years the Jewish names were removed… Did they not have more important things to do?”

Hoenlein called this the ultimate act of antisemitism.

“Today, they understand that if you take away our past, you take away our future,” he continued. “If you cut us off from our roots, if we have no attachment to this sacred land, then what right do we or our children have to be here in the future?”

But he said the Jewish people should take solace in concrete archaeological evidence that is unquestionable.

“Every excavation, every archaeological site, yielded tens of thousands of artifacts and discoveries, every one consistent with Tanach, every one attesting to the thousands of years of undeniable, irrefutable evidence of our past,” Hoenlein said.

Robert Kraft, prominent Jewish-American businessman and philanthropist who owns the New England Patriots, said he has used his influence in the world of sports and entertainment to counteract antisemitism and BDS.

“We have used the power of sport and entertainers who have a tremendous following to get our message out” regarding antisemitism and BDS, he said, adding that he acknowledges the impact of social media and believes it should be used as a tool to spread awareness and combat hate.

“In America, you were always free to do as you wish as long as you weren’t breaking a law,” he noted. “For people to be killed because they were worshiping in a synagogue in the United States of America, we have to do something about that.”

Kraft, who will be receiving the 2019 Genesis Prize on Thursday night, will direct the $1 million prize towards organizations and initiatives aimed at combating the rise of antisemitism around the world.

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