The United Nations has played a leading role in rewriting history as part of its anti-Israel agenda. A recent editorial in Christian media compared this to replacement theology and one rabbi agreed, noting that pro-Palestinian forces have taken this hated doctrine further than the Church ever had.
Brandon Shirkey wrote an opinion article in Charisma News titled “Is This Theology a Serious Threat to God’s People?” In the article, Shirkey compared the United Nations treatment of Israel to replacement theology.
“The United Nations has seemingly turned a blind eye to the truth of this conflict by absurdly defending the aggressor and condemning the victim,” Shirkey wrote.
Shirkey’s outrage is shared by many Christians who see religious implications in the UN’s harsh treatment of Israel in the political arena. Many Christian organizations reacted strongly to a vote last year by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declaring Hebron and the Machpela (Cave of the Patriarchs) an Endangered World Heritage Site in “Palestine.”
David Parsons, Vice President of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), released a statement, condemning the UNESCO vote as a religiously based attack that should concern Christians.
“UNESCO’s latest resolution on Hebron is yet another misguided attempt to rob the Jewish people of their biblical heritage here in the Land of Israel,” he said. “This revered site has been and always will be the resting place of the Hebrew patriarchs and matriarchs, purchased by Abraham, the great Father of the Jewish people. It is hugely disappointing that even traditionally Christian nations are failing to stand up to this deliberate distortion of established sacred history.”
Rabbi Ken Spiro, historian and Senior Lecturer and Researcher for Aish HaTorah Yeshiva, was intrigued by Shirkey’s application of this theological concept to the political arena.
“Replacement theology is a Christian doctrine which states that Jews rejected Jesus and caused his death, so God rejected them and the new spiritual Israel is the Church and Jerusalem is Rome,” Spiro explained to Breaking Israel News. “So, on that level, the UN is not espousing a theological replacement theology. But on a political level they are definitely practicing replacement theology.”
Rabbi Spiro explained how this is being played out in the United Nations.
“They are writing the Jews out of any connection with Israel,” He explained. “They are even trying to erase our peoplehood. The UN has clearly bought into the idea that Judaism is a religion and not a national identity. They have replaced that with the Palestinian claim of national identity originating in Israel. The UN is pushing the claim that the Palestinians are indigenous and that we are the foreign invaders. They are claiming that the Palestinians, actually the Arabs, are the oppressed minority and Israel is the aggressor. Everything they say, the opposite is actually the truth.”
This historical revisionism has gone mainstream with many believing that Jewish history in Israel going back millennia – once a historical axiom – is now a questionable and baseless theory. In October 2003, Time Magazine called the Temple “an area where the Jews believe Solomon built the Second Temple.” The New York Times has also reported, “historical certainty proves elusive at Jerusalem’s holiest place.”
This political debate turned religious for Christians when, in an effort to refute the Jewish claim to the land, attempts are made to discount the validity of the Bible. One such case occurred in 2001, when the University of Chicago Press published an academic book dismissing biblical books as “national historical tale.”
“What the UN is doing is even further away from the truth than replacement theology,” Rabbi Spiro said. “It is replacement theology on steroids. At least replacement theology recognized that Jews once had a place in Israel, that we once were the chosen people, that Jerusalem was the holy city. Catholicism just said that we got replaced. The UN is claiming we were never here. This is more like total negation theology.”
Spiro described the UN claims about Israel as following in the methods used by Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda of the Nazi Party. Goebbels was quoted as saying, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” The rabbi cited a particular Palestinian claim as a prime example.
“The Palestinian Authority claims that after 100 years of archaeological research, they can verify that there is no evidence of any Jewish presence in Israel before Zionism,” Rabbi Spiro said. “How can they even begin to say that? The Israel Museum and many others are full of with thousands of artifacts that refute this claim. The Palestinian Authority is demanding Israel return the Dead Sea Scrolls even though they are written in Hebrew.”
As Spiro noted, despite being a science based on facts and physical proof, archaeology in Israel is highly politicized and anti-Israel entities are attempting to rewrite history. Palestinians have recently begun archaeological projects as part of their political agenda. Khaled Nashef, a Palestinian archaeologist at Bir Zeit University and editor of the University’s Journal of Palestinian Archaeology, wrote that “for too long the history of Palestine has been written by Christian and Israeli ‘biblical archaeologists,’ and that Palestinians must themselves rewrite that history, beginning with the archaeological recovery of ancient Palestine.”
Some of that rewriting has taken the form of destruction of archaeological sites. The Temple Mount Sifting Project was begun in 2004 for the purpose of recovering archaeological artifacts from 400 truckloads of topsoil removed from the Temple Mount by the Waqf during the construction of the underground el-Marwani Mosque from 1996 to 1999. The project has recovered some 500,000 artifacts including flooring from the Second Temple.
“The UN’s treatment of Israel is an amazing distortion of reality and what is more amazing is to the extent they have succeeded in making people believe it, Rabbi Spiro explained. “They couldn’t have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for all the anti-Semites who were just waiting for an excuse to attack us. If much of Europe and much of the left-wing didn’t already hate us, the UN never would have been able to push this absurd narrative on anyone. Anyone who has the slightest bit of knowledge of history and any level of objectivity would immediately see that the whole claim of Palestinian right to the land and a prior claim to Jerusalem is a lie.”
It was a rejection of these lies that led the U.S. to leave UNESCO last year. Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN has been a harsh critic of this distortion of the truth by the international organization.
The rabbi believes that the UN’s actions are a political expression that has religious roots.
“On a certain level, it is an anti-God agenda,” Rabbi Spiro argued, quoting Sigmund Freud’s book Moses and Monotheism.
“Christians don’t hate Jews for killing Jesus, they hate the Jews for giving them Jesus,” the rabbi said. “People who want to push God out of their lives and reject the morality that His existence requires, hate the Jews. We represent God in the world and people who hate God, express it in how they relate to the Jews.”