A self-inflicted wound, and Ayalon amplifies the damage - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • 03.11.10 | 22:19 (IST)

    Netanyahu has decided to renovate various historical buildings/sites that are worthy of preservation. For this, a list of such buildings was assembled and named "national heritage sites". A special fund was created and allocated for the project. In announcing the project, Netanyahu mentioned the building where the State of Israel was declared (1948) as an example. Obviously, this is a worthy national program. The problem was that Netanyahu quickly added to the list Rachel's Tomb (Bethlehem) and the Cave of the Patriarchs (Hebron). How can one list these sites which are outside Israel in the "national" heritage sites list? Whether the Palestinians also revere the sites or not is immaterial. They are located in Occupied Palestinian areas. It would have been possible for Israel to pay for renovation (after consulting with the Palestinians), but putting the sites on a "national" Israeli list was the big boo boo. Now Netanyahu complains: "If the places where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish nation are buried, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Leah and Rachel some 4,000 years ago are not part of the Jewish heritage then what is?" They are indeed places of jewish significance, but you cant grab them because they are "abroad".

    from the article: Israel clashes with UNESCO in row over holy sites
    First published 21:24 03.11.10 | Last updated 21:24 03.11.10
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