Monday, March 01, 2010

What about Ezekiel's tomb, Irina Bokova?

UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova, has 'expressed concern' at the Israeli government's plan to include in its renovation programme the biblical heritage sites of the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel's tomb in Hebron. We've yet to hear any expression of concern from Mrs Bokova at Iraq's planned islamicisation of Ezekiel's tomb, or indeed news that control of renovation works has passed to UNESCO, as promised by the Iraqi authorities. This lucid article in The American Thinker reminds us that Ezekiel's tomb, like the Prophet Ezekiel in his own lifetime, is in the forefront of a cultural war:

A short fifteen-minute drive outside Kerbala, Iraq, one can witness the frontlines of the clash between East and West, Islamism and progress. There, in the small town of Al-Kifl, lies -- at least at the time of this writing -- the 2,500-year-old Tomb of the Prophet Ezekiel. But for the first time in recorded history, the Tomb is threatened not by the collateral damage of war, nor the ignominies of thieves and bandits, but by a planned, government-authorized, and taxpayer-funded demolition.

The Jerusalem Post and various watchdog groups have reported that the Iraqi Cultural and Antiquities Authority are implementing plans to erect a mosque on top of Ezekiel's Tomb. Last month, the process began as the ancient Hebrew inscriptions adorning the inside of the Tomb were defaced, perhaps irrevocably, and covered over by plaster.

With the not-so-distant memory of the Taliban's destruction of Buddhist statuary in Afghanistan still in mind, the impending Islamification of the Jewish shrine of the Tomb might seem like the product of a uniquely modern cultural phenomenon. But in reality, the history of Ezekiel's Tomb reflects the millennial ebb and flow of Islamic power.

It was only once the Ottoman period ended that the tomb was wrested from Islamic control and returned to Jewish custodianship; and, strangely, it was under the Ba'athist Saddam Hussein that the site was restored and actually protected from destruction. But today, as Islamist power congeals across the globe, the Tomb faces perhaps its greatest and most imminent threat.

This current threat mirrors Ezekiel's own prophetic life -- and in this way, it is a continuance of his prophecy. Ezekiel prophesied in a turbulent and uncertain time in Jewish history, leading a defeated people from the destruction of Jerusalem to the rivers of Babylon. He was on the forefront of a cultural war, where his vision of a new Jewish reality-in-exile could confront those who wished to forget the tragedies of their past, wipe away their identity, and disappear.

Read article in full


Stuart said...

Ah what an excellent point. All we ever hear about in the MSM is condemnation after condemnation of Israel relating to the tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel's tomb and yet a stunning silence about Ezekiel's tomb in Iraq.

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

just about everything about the UN is Orwellian. Although peace is one of the UN's objectives stated in the UN charter, this is honored more in the breach than the observance. UNESCO sabotages cultural heritage preservation rather than preserving it. For instance, the Arab-Muslim abuse of the Temple Mount and of Joseph's tomb in Sh'khem [Nablus] are ignored by UNESCO. The Arab and Western Judeophobic denial of history in the Land of Israel is ignored. UNESCO almost elected an Egyptian as director-general last year. He had openly called for burning Israeli books. This Bokova woman was supposed to be better, which may well be true. But better is not necessarily good. Her statement is outrageous. It shows a highly political interpretation of the history of the Land of Israel and of the Jewish holy places. Indeed, Hebron is traditionally considered a Jewish holy city by Jews, along with Jerusalem, Tiberias and Safed. But UNESCO obviously favors Arab and Muslim false interpretations of history.

For Bokova's information, the Tomb of the Patriarchs structure in Hebron was built by King Herod around the same time as he expanded and renovated the Temple in Jerusalem. It was a focus of Jewish pilgrimage long ago, as was Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem. Moses Montefiore paid to have the structure renovated in the mid-19th century, with the help of the British consul of the time, James Finn. Before that, a local Bedouin tribe, the Ta`amari, used to charge a high fee to Jews who wanted to come to the Rachel's Tomb site.

Now, in the very Orwellian --shamelessly Orwellian-- 21st century, all that history is forgotten.

EM Jordan is Pales said...

Policy of divide and ruling by British Empire still is exist, the British for their interest in all part of the world have created united Nation, why the Jews despite of that long history dose not have rights for their land ? Why the small nations like Libya and Saudi Arabia and Algiers or other Muslim nations have rights for those giant land but when it come to Jews, almost the entire world have denied our rights in that land, it is same double standard story for Jewish heritage in Muslims nation, dose the UN did cares about those old synagogues in Muslims and Christians nation that they took over and have converted to masque or Churches? The conflict in M.E is not for that tiny land it has been created by British Empire for their interest in Muslims nation if there were not involvement British Empire in that areas the Jews could have their entire land plus Jordan and could live side by side in peace with our Muslims neighbors, by the way the Jewish history has been written in Koran and the educated Muslim believes that land is belong to Jews too.