Raging over a decision by a UN body to declare Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs a part of endangered Palestinian heritage, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday recited Biblical verses meant to prove the millennia-old Jewish connection to the West Bank site.
On Friday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted to list Hebron’s Old City, home to the shrine holy as the burial place of Abraham and other biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, as an endangered Palestinian world heritage site.
According to the Bible, the burial cave was purchased by Abraham to inter his wife Sara. Later, he and his descendants were also buried there, according to Jewish tradition.
“And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the hearing of the children of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant … And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre - the same is Hebron - in the land of Canaan. And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a burying-place by the children of Heth,” said Netanyahu wearing a skullcap while quoting verses 16-19 from chapter 23 of the book of Genesis.
The prime minister said the UNESCO motion was “delusional.”
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Let's compare Netanyahu's statement to this paragraph in the The Times of Israel:
The Tomb of the Patriarchs, revered as the Biblical burial place of the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs, is now the third cultural site on UNESCO’s “List of World Heritage in Danger” that is registered as located in the “State of Palestine.” The other two are the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem and the “cultural landscape of Southern Jerusalem,” around Battir.
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Abraham did not purchase the entire city of Hebron, only that part associated with the burial grounds. And what he purchased was located within the lands belonging to the "children of Heth", as stated in the above scripture. Historically, is this not the equivalent of the modern statement "located in the 'State of Palestine'"? Netanyahu appears to be negating his own claim.
By the way, here is what UNESCO actually said about Hebron:
The World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow has inscribed Hebron / Al Khalil Old town (Palestine) and W-Arly-Pendjari Complex (Benin, Burkina Faso) on the World Heritage List during its morning session. The Committee simultaneously added the site of Hebron / Al Khalil to the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The new sites in order of inscription are:
Hebron / Al Khalil Old town, Palestine
The use of a local limestone shaped the construction of the old town of Hebron / Al-Khalil during the Mamluk period between 1250 and 1517. The centre of interest of the town was the site of Al mosque -Ibrahim / the tomb of the Patriarchs whose buildings are in a compound built in the 1st century CE to protect the tombs of the patriarch Abraham / Ibrahim and his family. This place became a site of pilgrimage for the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The town was sited at the crossroads of trade routes for caravans travelling between southern Palestine, Sinai, Eastern Jordan, and the north of the Arabian Peninsula. Although the subsequent Ottoman Period (1517-1917) heralded an extension of the town to the surrounding areas and brought numerous architectural additions, particularly the raising of the roof level of houses to provide more upper stories, the overall Mamluk morphology of the town is seen to have persisted with its hierarchy of areas, quarters based on ethnic, religious or professional groupings, and houses with groups of rooms organized according to a tree-shaped system.
Source - http://en.unesco.org/news/two-new-sites-inscribed-world-heritage-list
What exactly is the alleged factual distortion in this declaration? Use of the word "Palestine"?
To me this hubbub appears to be another attempt to prove that Palestinians don't exist ... and NEVER existed. And that is something I cannot support.