Kever Rachel, which is holy only to the Jewish people as Rachel has no relation to Islamic doctrine in any capacity, has recently been called the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque, apparently named after the third convert to Islam, as if we care. This title has only been used since 2000. Prior to this time it has been universally known by Jews, Christians, and Muslims as Rachel's tomb. The only explanation for UNESCO's legitimizing the Falacstinian mosque lie is to delegitimize the Jewish claim to not only these holy places, but to all of Judea and Samaria.
Since liberating Judea and Samaria, Israel has guaranteed access to all holy places to all religions. Jewish holy sites that ended up in Falacstinian controlled areas as a result of the Oslo farce were often closed off to Jews or, as in the case of Joseph's tomb in Shechem, were ransacked and vandalized.
Bibi Netanyahu called UNESCO's move "absurd," stating:
“If the places where the Jewish nation’s forefathers and mothers – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel – were buried 4,000 years ago is not part of the Jewish nation’s heritage, then what is a heritage site?”
An excellent question. So what is the solution? Frankly, it is simple. Ultimately the Torah teaches us that we may not permit the worship of foreign gods in the Land of Israel. It is not enough to call these places Jewish heritage sites. We must have absolute control over them, and the municipalities in which they stand. It also means that, despite what would undoubtedly be worldwide condemnation, Muslims should no longer have free access to any of these places. If Muslims are to be allowed to go there at all, which they should not, let them come in armored buses at a time chosen for them instead of Jews having to arrive with military escort, but do not let them pray there, just as Jews are banned from praying on the Temple Mount.
How does Israel cement this decision, by once and for all declaring that there will no longer be any negotiations for the creation of an Arab state on Jewish land followed by a declaration of war against the illegal Arab occupation armies of the PLO and Hamas. When the terror entities are destroyed the remaining Arabs can choose to accept resident alien status or leave.
Of course, the first step that must be taken is to rid the government of PLO MKs from the Knesset and the abolition of Arab political parties whose allegiance is not to Jewish Israel. The Knesset has banned Jewish parties so it shouldn't have a problem banning Arab parties. Any political parties, be they Jewish or Arab, that continue to call for the creation of an Arab state on Jewish land should also be banned. Torah and democracy are mutually exclusive. It's time we stopped pretending that this is not the case.
But don't think that the Arabs/Muslims and their UN tools are the only ones on the delegitimization bandwagon. The Catholic Church is getting on board too.
In a move reminiscent of the pre-Vatican II days, when the Holy See could still openly declare the Jews the killers of Jesus (I can assure you that this was still being taught in the Catholic Archdiocese where I grew up thirty-something years ago), Pope Benedict XVI called a Synod to discuss the plight of Christians in the Middle East. At a Vatican press conference the president of the "Commission for the Message," Monsignor Cyril Salim Bustros declared:
The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands.
We Christians cannot speak of the ‘promised land’ as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people. This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people – all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.
Even if the head of the Israeli state is Jewish, the future is based on democracy.
The Palestinian refugees will eventually come back and this problem will have to be solved.”
There is so much inherently wrong and racist about that statement it is hard to know where to begin. It is quite clear that, despite Vatican II, so-called succession theology is alive and well in the Catholic Church. This is the notion that Jesus replaced the covenant between the G-d of Israel and the Jewish people. For nearly 2000 years this idea was at the center of Catholic doctrine, and made the Church nearly irrelevant when the Jewish people regained sovereignty over the Land of Israel in 1948. Until then it was taught that the Jews were never to return to the Land of Israel, as G-d no longer had a covenant with Israel. The final blow came in 1967 when the IDF liberated Jordanian occupied Jerusalem.
Clearly the Monsignor has no grasp of a number of Jewish concepts. The first is the notion of the Jews as the "Chosen People." This is a duel reference. HaShem sanctified Israel as His people when He entered into the covenant with Abraham:
1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him: 'I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be thou wholehearted. 2 And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.' 3 And Abram fell on his face; and God talked with him, saying: 4 'As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for the father of a multitude of nations have I made thee. 6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee. 8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.' 9 And God said unto Abraham: 'And as for thee, thou shalt keep My covenant, thou, and thy seed after thee throughout their generations. 10 This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of a covenant betwixt Me and you. 12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any foreigner, that is not of thy seed. 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised; and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
So, an everlasting covenant that sanctifies the nation of Israel to be His people, and promises the land of Canaan to Israel forever. So, Monsignor, is the G-d of Israel a liar? Go ahead and say it...if you have the nuts.
The other meaning behind "Chosen People" is that we accepted the Torah. We are told that before HaShem offered the Torah to Israel He brought it to every other nation so that in future days they could not say, "You never gave us the chance to accept the Torah because you did not offer it to us." At last HaShem appeared to the Israelites at Sinai, offering the yoke of Torah. Israel accepted without even knowing the details. We chose to enter into the covenant as a nation, when no one else would. But a Bishop of the Catholic Church has decided to attempt to undo what G-d has done, in the name of politics.
Bishop Bustros almost gets one thing right when he says that all men and women have become the chosen people. In truth, everyone has the ability to be chosen, to choose. If they choose to accept the yoke of Torah and enter into the covenant of Israel then they are part of the covenant. See your local Orthodox Rabbi for details. I know a lot of people who have chosen to do so.
Bustros also falsely states that the future of Israel is democracy. The future of Israel is Torah, though I guess he thinks that HaShem's Prophets are also liars. And no, the Falacstinian refugees will not be coming back. Even the outgoing director of the New York UNRWA office has recently stated that the Arab countries need to finally absorb these people, just as Israel absorbed the 1,000,000 Jews that were driven out of Arab countries.
So once again the world tries to cut the Jewish people off from our land and our G-d. The only answer is for us to strengthen our connection to both and tell the Synod, and the Pope who called it, and who has failed to condemn Bustros' statement, to go blow.