Thursday, October 20, 2016

IAA director compares UNESCO to ISIS

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Israel’s antiquities chief compares UNESCO to Islamic State. UN cultural body’s resolution on Jerusalem akin to jihadist group’s destruction of Palmyra, says Yisrael Hasson (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel).
“Around us, world heritage treasures are being destroyed… They murdered Syrian archaeologist Khaled al-Asaad, who tried to protect heritage,” Hasson said recalling the 82-year-old retired head of antiquities in Palmyra who was beheaded by IS militants last year.

IS overran Palmyra — a UNESCO world heritage site known as the “Pearl of the Desert” — in May 2015 and used its ancient amphitheater for public executions.

The extremist group blew up temples and tower tombs as part of it campaign against pre-Islamic monuments it considers “blasphemous.”

“And recently UNESCO in essence joined this system of destruction by diplomatic means. This is essentially the same action by a diplomatic course,” Hasson said.
That's harsh, but there's no question that the wording of the UNESCO resolution was unhelpful.

Meanwhile, Hamas is displeased with Ban Ki Moon for backing away from the resolution: Palestine: Hamas slams UN chief over Al-Aqsa resolution (Ola Atallah, The Muslim News).
Ban, for his part, said that the holy site belongs to all religions.

“The Secretary General reaffirms the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions and stresses the importance of the religious and historical link of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian peoples to the holy site,” Ban’s spokesman Estefan Dogrec said.

Hamas described Ban’s statement as a “violation of his duties”.
And let's not fail to take note of the intimation of Jewish-Temple denial in the article:
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Background on the UNESCO resolution and the responses to it are here (today's first post, but composed and meant for yesterday) and links.