B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement: B’nai B’rith International commends the U.S. State Department and its spokesman P.J. Crowley for a vigorous defense of Israel in the face of an outrageous Palestinian Authority report claiming Israel has no connection to the Western Wall.
Crowley said on Nov. 30: "We have repeatedly raised with the Palestinian Authority leadership the need to consistently combat all forms of delegitimization of Israel, including denying historic Jewish connections to the land.” And he also noted: “We strongly condemn these comments and fully reject them as factually incorrect, insensitive, and highly provocative."
If the Palestinian Authority, which is deemed to be Israel’s partner in peace efforts, disregards the Jewish place in the history of Israel, then how can one expect to have a negotiation that will produce a resolution to the real conflicts in the region? This endless disrespect for accepted history demonstrates a blatant and dangerous disregard for the Jewish connection to the land. This revisionist history dismisses thousands of years of historically documented Jewish connection to the land.
Unfortunately, this historical dismissal of Israel represents a dangerous trend on the part of those who would delegitimize Israel. Just weeks ago, the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) executive board overwhelmingly decreed that Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs should not be included on Israel’s list of national heritage sites. UNESCO’s resolution read that “the two sites are an integral part of the occupied Palestinian Territories.”
At the time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, responding to the UNESCO decision, said: "The attempt to separate the nation of Israel from its cultural heritage is absurd." Netanyahu’s statement could very well apply to this move by the Palestinians.
Like Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs, the Western Wall is an uncontestable Jewish holy site.
B’nai B’rith commends the U.S. government for denouncing the Palestinian report.