Palestinian leaders and their western supporters on the political Left are actually re-interpreting Biblical history amid a wider growth of woke activism within the Center East, critics say. The Palestinian Authority (PA), emboldened by some in Europe and United Nations our bodies, wish to dismantle Judeo-Christian ties to the Holy Land as they search to invent a brand new narrative favoring their claims on the area, opponents of the marketing campaign argue.
“The PA’s erasure of Jewish historical past mixed with the inventing of a Palestinian historical past is utilized by the PA to outline Israelis as “Zionist thieves” “usurpers” “foreigners” “invaders” “colonialists,” briefly folks with no connection to the land who due to this fact should be defeated and expelled,” Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli-based group researching Palestinian society, instructed Fox Information.
Marcus points to the various traditionally inaccurate statements made by senior P.A. officers, together with President Mahmoud Abbas, who in a 2016 claimed throughout a televised speech on Palestinian TV that, “our narrative says that we had been on this land since earlier than Abraham. I’m not saying it. The Bible says it. The Bible says, in these phrases, that the Palestinians existed earlier than Abraham. So why do not you acknowledge my proper?”
A collection of questions despatched to President Abbas’ spokesman and the Palestinian Mission to the U.N. weren’t returned for remark.
Jerusalem has and continues to be the primary flashpoint within the combat to erase historical past. Senior Palestinian leaders summarily dismiss Judaism’s holiest website, The Temple Mount, as an “alleged Temple.” Ze’ev Orenstein, Director of Worldwide Affairs for the Metropolis of David, an archeological website for historic Jerusalem, instructed Fox Information, “There is no such thing as a place on this planet which holds extra significance for extra folks than Jerusalem. But, at present, each the UN and Palestinian management are looking for to erase the Jewish and Christian heritage of Jerusalem.”
Each single day, archeological excavations within the Metropolis of David – the place the place Jerusalem started…are affirming not merely as a matter of religion, however as a matter of reality, the millennia-old connection of Jews and Christians to Jerusalem,” Orenstein added. “This consists of the invention of millennia-old inscriptions affirming Biblical occasions; historic seals with the names – in Hebrew – of figures straight out of the pages of the Bible, together with that of the Biblical King Hezekiah – direct descendant of King David from 2,700 years in the past.”
Orenstein says that, by visiting the City of David, folks can witness this historical past, “with their very own eyes, contact with their very own palms, and stroll upon with their very own toes.”
But, whereas the erasure marketing campaign is very charged round Jerusalem, Regavim, an Israeli non-governmental group, warns that the cradle of Jewish historical past has been below fixed assault for years.
“The Palestinian Authority has undertaken a really fastidiously and purposefully orchestrated program of historic revisionism, in an try and blur and finally erase the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel,” Naomi Kahn, Regavim’s worldwide spokesperson, instructed Fox Information. “As a result of Judea and Samaria are the cradle of Jewish historical past, these areas are fairly naturally the focal factors of this insidious marketing campaign.”
She mentioned, “The Palestinian Authority and its supporters have confirmed keen, even keen, to destroy the bodily stays of 1000’s of years of Judeo-Christian tradition in an try and make approach for a fictitious quasi-historical narrative that helps their political agenda.”
Kahn mentioned the Oslo Peace Accords made it clear that the Palestinian Authority needed to shield websites of Judeo-Christian significance and that the PA “was required to guard and allow free entry – for worship, research, tourism, and scientific exploration.” The “PA has utterly disregarded these necessities,” she mentioned.
Kahn gave these examples:
Sebastia is the title the Romans gave to Samaria and the capital metropolis of the Northern Israelite Kingdom based within the ninth Century B.C. It’s now an official Palestinian tourism website, however Regavim claims that guests will hear no point out of its Jewish connection, together with its being an impartial Jewish Kingdom of which Samaria was the seat of presidency.
In the identical space, Regavim mentioned there as soon as stood a Byzantine construction purporting to be the burial place of St. John the Baptist’s head, however added that the construction has been destroyed and defaced. It now lies in ruins. Regavim says different cathedrals that had been become mosques in Sebastia have been reinterpreted in PA tourism guides. Regavim mentioned that it had recognized over 300 such websites “which were looted, broken or completely decimated or are within the technique of being worn out.”
Kahn concluded with a warning, “Like the huge destruction wreaked on cultural artifacts by ISIS, the destruction of websites all through Judea and Samaria is a tragedy for the shared cultural and historic legacy of humankind, and civilized nations shouldn’t be complicit on this barbarism.”
A number one Christian scholar says the assault on Jewish historical past has penalties for Christians. Reverend Dr. Petra Heldt, director of the Ecumenical Theological Analysis Fraternity in Israel, instructed Fox Information that “re-writing Biblical historical past with an anti-Israel try ventures to set a probably deadly blow to the Christian religion.”
Heldt, who can be a professor of Historical past of the Church buildings within the Center East at Jerusalem College School and works on mutual understanding between Christians and Jews in Israel, famous that Christian society at present is “typically getting ready to forgetting the Bible and the Christian custom.” She added that “re-writing Biblical historical past (specifically by eliminating Israel), due to this fact, will lure nominal Christians into the realm of the deceiver affiliated with agendas of anti-Semitism, secularism, or different religions.”
The PA-controlled historic metropolis of Hebron is one other flashpoint. Yishai Fleisher, the worldwide spokesman for the Jewish group in Hebron, mentioned town has served for instance of how the rewriting of the historic document has modified the historic narrative to favor the Palestinians. He famous that in 2017 UNESCO voted to place the Tomb of the Patriarchs as a Palestinian world heritage website that it mentioned was below menace from the Israelis. That vote led the Trump administration to give up the UN physique.
A spokesman from The United Nations Academic, Scientific, and Cultural Group (UNESCO) instructed Fox Information that “All choices on the Government Board, Normal Convention and World Heritage committee are adopted by Member States, not by UNESCO itself,” when referring to votes on Hebron and Jerusalem. The spokesman continued that, “UNESCO will carry on opposing any makes an attempt of revision of historical past: heritage in its historic complexity ought to unite folks, quite than divide them. That is UNESCO’s core goal.” The spokesman concluded, “Any accusation or remark about UNESCO being ‘anti-Israel’ is clearly inaccurate.”
Fleisher, talking on Fox Information’ chief faith correspondent Lauren Inexperienced’s “Lighthouse Faith” podcast, mentioned the importance of Hebron to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Fleisher defined that Israel’s first capital was Hebron, and that Genesis describes Abraham making a land buy to bury his beloved spouse Sarah 3,800 years in the past in Hebron.
He mentioned that Abraham was additionally laid to relaxation within the tomb with Sarah and following their passing so had been his sons, Isaac and Jacob, and their wives Rebecca and Leah. They had been all buried contained in the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriachs in Hebron, making it one of many holiest websites in Judaism. King Herod constructed a construction 2,000 years in the past to mark the tombs and made it a mausoleum. Subsequently, the al-Haram al-Ibrahimi Mosque was constructed throughout the construction, and it nonetheless capabilities as an lively mosque for Hebron’s majority Muslim group.
Fleisher sounded a warning on the results. “In lieu of defeating Israel on the battlefield, the Jihad has initiated a struggle of delegitimization meant on erasing worldwide help for Israel,” he mentioned. “In essence it’s a large smear marketing campaign through which Israel’s historic historical past on this land is systematically erased and changed with an invented Palestinian narrative. The primary goal of this marketing campaign are younger westerners who’re just too ignorant to combat again with details.”
Fleisher mentioned he’ll proceed to defend historical past from what he referred to as “the jihadist substitute narrative. We’ll do all the pieces to combat it and assert our historic rights in Judea and combat historic erasure.”