Israelis flock to visit the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90) (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron

The PA wants UNESCO to declare the Old City of Hebron, including the Cave of the Patriarchs, a Palestinian World Heritage site. We cannot let this happen!

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is requesting that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee, whose annual meeting is scheduled for July 1 in Krakow, Poland, register the Old City of Hebron—including the Cave of the Patriarchs—as a Palestinian World Heritage site.

The Cave of Machpelah is the world’s most ancient Jewish site and the second-holiest place for the Jewish people, after the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The Cave and the adjoining field were purchased at full market price by Abraham some 3700 years ago. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah – the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people, excluding Rachel – were all buried there.

King David made Hebron the first capital of the Jewish people, before moving it to Jerusalem. There has been a continued Jewish presence in Hebron over the centuries.

The building atop the Cave was built by Herod, a Roman client-king of Judea, over 2,000 years ago – some 600 years before Muhammad was born. Following the advent of Christianity and the Byzantine Conquest and occupation, in the fourth century, the site was turned into a basilica and the largest of the inner rooms was built.

Only later, in the 600s, after the advent of Islam and the Arab conquest and occupation, the site was transformed from a church into a mosque.

As for the Cave of the Patriarchs, the PA claims the site is in danger of destruction by the “occupying force,” referring to the State of Israel.

The ongoing attempt by the PA to reject the ancient Jewish ties to the Land of Israel, including the Old City of Jerusalem and Hebron, has achieved some success with UNESCO. The Israeli delegation to UNESCO has already begun making efforts to stop the PA’s plans.

“This is a clear continuation of the attacks and hallucinatory outrageous votes in UNESCO regarding Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall,” stated Ambassador Carmel Shama-Hacohen, head of the Israeli delegation to UNESCO. “Israel respects Muslim sensibilities and ensures freedom of worship, order, security, routine maintenance, and the development of infrastructure supporting the holy sites.”

We must join these efforts and thwart another Palestinian attempt to erase Israel’s heritage and Jewish history.

Please contact U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and ask her to stop UNESCO from declaring the Old City of Hebron a Palestinian heritage site.

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