On October 26, 2016, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Centre passed a blatantly anti-Israel resolution denying the historic Jewish ties to some of the Holy Land’s known Biblical sites. These include the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the site of the first and second Holy Jewish Temples, Biblical Mother Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem and the Cave of the Patriarchs (Cave of Machpelah – “the couples”) in Hebron.
Yishai Fleisher, the international spokesman for the Jewish community in Hebron, shared fascinating insights with Breaking Israel News about the ramifications of such a decree upon the future of Israel and the Jewish people.
Fleisher explained that Hebron, just a half hour drive from Jerusalem, is the root from which all of humanity was born, monotheism was created, and the future arrival of the Messiah sprouts as King David, Messiah’s lineage, established Israel’s first capital in Hebron and Ruth, David’s great-grandmother and Jesse (Yishai), David’s father, are buried at the top of a hill in Hebron called Admot Yishai (Tel Hebron).
“It is Jewish tradition that the entrance to the Garden of Eden is found underneath the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron,” noted Fleisher. “Adam and Eve, along with the fathers and mothers of monotheism Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebbeca and Jacob and Leah are all buried in the Cave of Machpelah. That is why it is called the Cave of the Couples.”
“After he drove the man out, he placed on the east sideof the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:24)
UNESCO’s resolution goes so far as to refer to Israel’s Biblical holy sites by their Arabic names. The resolution states that “The two Palestinian sites of Al-Haram al Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs in Al-Khalil/Hebron and the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem” are “an integral part of Palestine.”
“Our enemies know that the way to uproot the Biblical and Jewish claim to Israel is to remove its history from world knowledge,” continued Fleischer. “People are not sensitive to the fact that if, God forbid, the Jewish community of Hebron, which has had its presence here from time immemorial, is delegitimize or destroyed, the Jewish claim to any part of the Holy Land will not be far behind.”
Today, there are 90 Jewish families living in Hebron among over a hundred thousand Palestinians. For decades, there has been a long list of families wishing to move into the holy city. However, the Israeli government, due to international pressure, continues to limit the amount of Jewish building allowed in the city.
“The Jewish families living in Hebron are healthy and strong,” noted Fleisher. “People must understand that their resilience and dedication to Hebron keeps the city open to all religions. It is our duty to support them, both in the political arena and with our resources.”
Each year, nearly 800,000 tourists visit Hebron. This is only possible because there are Jews who live there. Fleisher pointed out that Joseph’s tomb in Nablus was destroyed in 2000 when its protection was given over to the Palestinian Authority. Today, few besides Arabs are able to enter Nablus to worship due to this reality. “The same can happen anywhere in Israel, God forbid,” stated Fleisher.
Maintaining the Hebron community and its many holy sites requires help from The Hebron Fund. The Hebron Fund is a non-profit charitable organization which provides Humanitarian Aid to needy Hebron families, maintains Hebron’s holy sites, and supports educational and tourism programs along with the Israeli soldiers stationed in the city maintaining its safety.
“The Hebron Fund has a big responsibility in order to ensure that the city remain safe and open to everyone around the world who recognizes its importance,” stated Rabbi Dan Rosenstein, Executive Director of The Hebron Fund, to Breaking Israel News. “To that end, we are running a crucial fundraising raffle with a first prize of $100,000 and the drawing is February 15th.”
Fleisher told of the unexpected beauty, peace and calm found in Hebron. “I must credit the Jewish families and our brave soldiers for Hebron’s wonderful and possibly unexpected ambiance. However, the credit for Hebron’s magical atmosphere really comes from its Biblical history of couples who lived in harmony and pushed away the enemies of the One God. We must ensure that Hebron continues, for its past, for its present and for the coming of the Messiah.”
To participate in The Hebron Fund raffle, please visit here.