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UNESCO Hebron motion important to all faiths

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UNESCO's July 7 decision to name the old city of Hebron a World Heritage site in danger has been reassuring to many faithful believers around the world. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Foreign Minister Riyad Malki welcomed the vote while Israeli officials angrily attacked it and even mocked the decision by the UN agency.

The UNESCO decision used the English word Hebron and the Arabic word for the city, Al-Khalil. Al-Khalil means companion, a reference to the biblical words that called Abraham God’s companion. Safeguarding such a holy place should be a goal of members of all faiths. Palestinians argue that attempts at monopolizing such sites to one faith or using religion as an instrument of political power is not a helpful move.

Subsequent to the resolution, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it “delusional” in a Facebook post, and said that “this time they determined that the Cave of the Machpela (Patriarchs) is Palestinian, meaning it is not Jewish.” But the Los Angeles-based Jewish Journal, however, correctly reported that the resolution did not mention the Cave of the Machpela, and does not designate the site as........

© Al Monitor