B’nai B’rith Sends Letter To UNESCO Director-General To Urge Addressing Reported Threats To Iraqi Jewish Heritage Site
B’nai B’rith International sent a letter to Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Irina Bokova advocating that she help support the preservation of the Tomb of Nahum. The tomb is located in Alqosh, Iraq, and not far from its location sits an encampment of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists, known for destroying virtually anything in their path, regardless of historical or religious value.
The tomb is a significant Jewish heritage site, also venerated by Christians, Muslims, Yazidis and others. The Hebrew prophet’s tomb rests inside a synagogue that is falling apart after years of neglect; most Iraqi Jews fled the country decades ago. The Tomb of Nahum has not achieved World Heritage status, which recognizes and aims to protect important cultural heritage sites around the world.
In their letter, President Gary P. Saltzman and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin write: “Given UNESCO’s forefront role in the preservation of prime historical and cultural assets, we ask you to help bring urgent attention to an ancient heritage site in danger. Recognition of the importance of Nahum’s Tomb, and the threats posed to it, by UNESCO could be an important step for the organization in acknowledging and honoring Jewish history.”
Click here to read the full letter.