In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
The Palestinian Authority initiated the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) vote, which also declared the city the third site on UNESCO’s list of endangered World Heritage sites that are located in ‘Palestine’.
The purchase of Hebron by Abraham is described in detail in Genesis.
So the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the border thereof round about, were made sure, unto Avraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city. Genesis 23:17-18
Rabbi Tuly Weisz, founder of Breaking Israel News, released an official statement condemning the vote, stating “By renouncing the Jewish claim to Hebron, UNESCO is rejecting the veracity and validity of the Bible, which clearly establishes that Abraham purchased the Cave of Patriarchs and that King David established his capital there. Once again, UNESCO has further angered and alienated millions of Bible-believing Jews and Christians who view Holy Scripture as the ultimate source of truth. This disgraceful UNESCO resolution is just more fake news.”
The United States was very critical of the decision.
“The UNESCO vote on Hebron is tragic on several levels. It represents an affront to history,” US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said. “It undermines the trust that is needed for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to be successful, and it further discredits an already highly questionable UN agency. Today’s vote does no one any good and causes much harm.”
She warned,“The United States is currently evaluating the appropriate level of its continued engagement at UNESCO.”
Immediately following the publication of the vote’s results, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video statement condemning the outcome saying “[Israel] will continue to protect the Cave of the Patriarchs, freedom of religion for all and [will continue to protect] the truth.”
In response, Netanyahu announced a $1 million cut to Israel’s payments to the UN and said the money would be diverted to establish a Jewish heritage museum in the settlement of Kiryat Arba, adjacent to Hebron, a Palestinian foreign ministry statement said.
The Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry released a statement praising the vote.
“Today, Palestine and the world, through UNESCO, celebrate Hebron as part of world heritage, a value that transcends geography, religion, politics, and ideology,” the statement read.
Earlier last week, UNESCO passed a similar vote erasing the historic Jewish connection to Jerusalem. UNESCO has passed several other resolutions to this effect in the past.