Gadhafi is dead. Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit is home. The Palestinians have received home hundreds of prisoners in trade for Schalit. And now thousands of Palestinians may also have jobs waiting for them again . . . in Libya.
What’s not to celebrate?
For starters the upcoming UNESCO vote to accept Palestine as a full member. ‘Palestine’ is not a country and never was.
The ‘Palestinians’ as a people were defined by Yasser Arafat by this name in the 1960s — but there had never been such an independent country prior.
But in this back-door method of applying to a UN organization for admission, the Palestinian Authority are hoping to receive some kind of de facto approval of statehood, and from there go on to rewrite history.
They’d be rewriting Judeo-Christian history because, as you may recall, the late Yasser Arafat began it all by calling Jesus Christ “the first Palestinian.” That was comical to me since Jesus was a Jew. So, what Yasser meant was . . . Israel was rightfully Jewish.
But it’s not funny anymore.
Not if you are a Jew, a Christian, or anyone of the west who thinks rule of law is relevant and that history isn’t something that goes by title transfer.
The UN is made up of more Arab and Islamic states than it is western Judeo-Christian states, consequently the balance of any vote is always heavily weighted toward the side that favours the Palestinians. Ironically, despite all the oil-rich countries, the financial support for organizations like UNESCO is heavily weighted to the U.S. and the west because of our interest in such things as historical roots.
Lots of those roots are about to be pulled right out.
If UNESCO accepts Palestine as a member, the U.S. will likely cut off its funding of UNESCO — meaning many heritage projects around the world will be cancelled or thrown into chaos.
But worse, the Palestinian Authority apparently intends to have many Judeo-Christian holy sites declared as Palestinian heritage sites. These would be places like the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Joseph’s tomb in Nablus and Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem. This is an extension of their global efforts to erase historic Judeo-Christian connections to the land of Israel.
Other means of erasing the Judeo-Christians’ connection to the land of Israel have included the ethnic cleansing of Christians from both the West Bank and Gaza through violence and intimidation, and no rule of law.
It’s the old ‘salami’ method. Yasser Arafat used to use the salami slice method when negotiating ‘land-for-peace.’ It was more a ‘land-by-piece’ method that the Israelis stepped back from when it was clear the objective was the whole salami and not an even share of hors d’oeuvres.
The PA’s ‘slice’ strategy moved to a religious heritage site battle over Hebron (one the PA have not yet won), then on to a victory for them when they took over Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus in a brutal fight and they turned a Jewish tomb into a mosque.
In the face of tremendous international pressure, Israel decided not to retake the tomb, a decision that simply emboldened the PA. Today, websites and books proliferate that deny Jews ever existed in the Middle East — thanks to the PA.
The Palestinian Authority’s reckless dash to have their statehood recognized outside agreed upon rules and agreements — like the Oslo Accords they signed — will, by U.S. law, trigger cancellation of funding for UNESCO. Yet undoubtedly the PA will move on to try getting their ‘state’ recognized at various other international organizations, too — resulting in more international chaos.
For those who think this is a clever move by the PA, imagine the bandwagon effect. How about if Quebec decides this is a great idea? The Kurds in Turkey?
But going back to the Holy Land, do you think the world’s Christians will find it amusing that sacred sites like the Church of the Nativity or Sarah’s tomb become the effective ‘heritage’ of the Palestinians, whose actions, majority religious practice and history are about as far removed from Christianity as you can get?
They’ve released Schalit, but they’re taking western Judeo-Christian heritage hostage instead.
This only further magnifies the emptiness of their statehood claims. Claiming a religiously significant property does not confer its spiritual heritage or qualities. Perhaps this claim to statehood and heritage will backfire on the PA.
People without a real history are like so much sand in the wind.
Michelle Stirling-Anosh is a freelance writer in Ponoka.