The UNESCO fiasco
I feel obligated to write this, as I was extremely angry at the UNESCO decision to ignore all Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, the most sacred of Jewish heritage sites. And NO, i'm not religious, those who know me can verify that I change my political opinion quite often, and in recent years, I identify myself as political center. They will also confirm, that I am a relentless, unforgiving student of History. I live and breath history. I was reading university grade history books at the age of 16, and thinking of history-related research questions at the age of 12. It is my sense of historical integrity that made me cringe to the bottom of my soul at UNESCO's vote to deny all connection between Jerusalem and the Jewish people or the state of Israel, moreover the Temple Mount.
As a student of History, there is nothing that sickens me more than people using draconian means in trying to rewrite it. For the lack of a better example I would like to draw a comparison, with another attempt at rewriting history. In his speech in "Schindler's List", portrayed chillingly and exquisitely by Ralph Fiennes, Amon Göth, "The Butcher of Płaszów", describes that he and his men are about to partake in a historical moment, (the liquidation of the Krakow Getto) here is what he said in reality:
"Today is history. There had been for more than seven centuries a Jewish Kraków, and by this evening, those seven centuries would have become a rumor, and Kraków would be judenrein (clean of Jews)”. To the best of my knowledge and sources, this speech did take place: Link
Now, I know exactly what you are thinking, «oh another one drawing a holocaust comparison»,«again the holocaust will be cynically used in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, how original». No my friends, this is different. Different in the sense of not wanting to relate to the diabolical "Butcher of Płaszów", rather to the character of Göth from "Schindler's List", and his speech from the movie.
"Today is history. Today will be remembered. Years from now the young will ask with wonder about this day. Today is history and you are part of it. Six hundred years ago, when elsewhere they were footing the blame for the Black Death, Casimir the Great - so called - told the Jews they could come to Krakow. They came. They trundled their belongings into the city. They settled. They took hold. They prospered in business, science, education, the arts. They came with nothing. And they flourished. For six centuries there has been a Jewish Krakow. By this evening those six centuries will be a rumor. They never happened. Today is history. " Link
Do you notice how the charter of Göth elaborates and reveals that the Jews of Krakow flourished? Do you see that unlike the real murderer, the fictional character almost glorifies the Jews of Krakow? It is right here, that I would like to draw my comparison. UNESCO in essence is also a way of glorifying and cementing our joint heritage as a species and cultural entities. In that way like both Göths, all three are playing with History, sadly all three are trying to rewrite it. I think the director, Steven Spielberg, chose a longer version of the text to make the audience understand that it is very clear, even to an SS man, that Jews have been an integral part of Krakow for six hundred years. Altogether, he wants to make you understand that Göth is fully aware, aware that he is committing a crime, against the Jewish people, against humanity and history, as he knows that there is a great Jewish history behind Krakow, and he and his men will make it a rumor.
Now as for the matter at hand, first off, I must explain, the Al-Aqsa-Mosque is a holy place for Moslems, no arguments here, and as far as i'm concerned, after a fair peace agreement, it could and should be a part of a future autonomous Palestinian state, here is not the issue. The issue is that under the Al-Aqsa-Mosque lies Har-Habait and beside it lies the Western Wall, the last remnants of the Temple Mount, the Jewish Temple of old, destroyed by the Romans in the first century A.D., a monument of immense importance to the Jewish people.
Now dear readers, its quite simple, i'll say it clearly: the fact UNESCO takes a vote on the matter of officially naming the Temple Mount a Palestinian heritage site, is an insult. Not to me, not to the Jewish people, but an insult to history. It's bad enough that I need to look up a Nazi SS butcher to show other examples of how wrong this really is. The fact of the matter is: both are rewriting history, with violence or a vote, both are crimes and are just wrong. Who the hell takes a vote at deciding what was and what wasn't? Who sets aside historical and archaeological EVIDENCE for a VOTE!?!?!? A VOTE!?!? The level of stupidity and ignorance i'm getting from this just makes me sick, the little history student in me just want to ignore the fact that such preposterous display of idiocy can even exist.
I despise all and every falsification of history. I don't care that it's written by the victors, a good historian looks at history from both sides. However, none, not a single one, shall set hard evidence aside, no one! This will not be accepted and should be condemned by anybody with a brain. And dear UNESCO, there will be no forgiveness. I don't care that your own Director-General is distancing herself from this "vote". The pity your vile organisation deserves will not come from me. It is a great shame that an international, esteemed institute degrades itself to such mockery. Whatever the reason may be.
And if you think i'm being dramatic, think this:
One day, someone will take a vote, and your history too, will become, only, a rumor.