On July 7, UNESCO voted for a resolution defining the Old City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs as Palestinian heritage sites. Before that, in 2016, two resolutions making the same type of counterfactual assertions concerning the Old City of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall were adopted. And the year before that, in 2015, UNESCO again upended history to rename two ancient biblical sites, Rachel's Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs, Islamic holy sites -- even though Islam did not even exist at that time.
Three days before this month's Hebron resolution, still another resolution, reaffirming the Jerusalem resolutions, was passed.
The Israeli government reacted with indignation. It decided to stop cooperating with UNESCO. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said she was shocked and that the decision would not be without consequences.
The rest of the world has remained silent. How come?
The July 7 resolution received the support of a large majority of the countries participating in the deliberations. Six countries abstained. Only three countries voted against the text. The resolutions concerning Jerusalem were adopted with equally significant majorities. The voting, tellingly, took place by secret ballot.
The purpose of UNESCO is supposedly to:
"contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations."
Sadly, UNESCO has become simply an anti-Semitic fraud, governed by fabrications rather than by facts. It betrays its mission, falsifies history, and wages a campaign of raw racism against the Jewish people and Judaism -- and the world accepts that. UNESCO acts as an instrument for propaganda seeking to annihilate the legitimacy of the existence of Israel -- and the world supports this behavior.
The Palestinian Authority (PA), which aspires to replace Israel with itself, is behind the resolutions on Jerusalem and Hebron and plays a key role in the transformation of UNESCO. The PA has constantly advocated and supported terrorism and has never stopped wanting to destroy Israel. Allowing the PA to have entered UNESCO is now having serious consequences.
That the Muslim world supports the transformation of UNESCO and the resolutions proposed by the Palestinian Authority is predictable. Many Muslim countries directly or indirectly finance terrorism and approve the PA's genocidal goals. A large part of the Muslim world mentally lives in a parallel reality, in which a seventh century "Muslim history" of the world replaces the factual history of the world. The Muslim world considers itself in a conflict with the Western world, and sees Israel as a Western enclave to be excised or at least suppressed.
That Third World countries also support the transformation of UNESCO and these resolutions is also predictable. Many Third World countries are imbued with an anti-Western resentment that leads them to conclude that that they are in a conflict with the West and must therefore support decisions taken by the countries of the Muslim world.
What is worrying is that most European countries, with few exceptions, accept these resolutions and the transformation of UNESCO.
Seven decades after the Holocaust, European countries act as if they would like to destroy all evidence of the existence of Jews -- and with it, their own complicity.
Europe, while claiming that it has the utmost respect for knowledge, tramples on the most basic elements of knowledge. No worthy historian can deny that Jerusalem -- especially so-called East Jerusalem -- was the seat of the City of David; the first and second Temples that were destroyed in 586 BC and 70 AD; the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Hebron, Rachel's Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs are also essential places of the Jews' biblical past. The Islamic invasions of Jerusalem and Judea took place centuries later.
Moreover, although Europe claims to respect human rights and the rights of peoples, it has been a party to violating the most essential right of the Jewish people: the recognition of its existence for more than 3,000 years, and the anchoring of this existence to its sacred monuments. Worse, Europe does so in the name of a people fictitiously invented less than 50 years ago. No serious scholar can find any trace of a "Palestinian people" before the 1960s. Europe has apparently been all too happy to accept lies.
Despite claiming to be resolutely hostile to anti-Semitism, Europe supports and endorses decisions that deny the Jewish character of the most essential Jewish sites, thereby denying the foundations of Judaism and consequently even denying the existence of a Jewish people.
Although self-righteously claiming to be ready to fight any form of genocide, Europe keeps contributing to this more subtle genocide against the Jews, behind which it is not difficult to see a Palestinian desire for real genocide.
While claiming to fight terrorism, Europe complies with the demands of a terrorist movement that does not even bother to hide its terrorist nature. When Mahmoud Abbas speaks Arabic, he continually incites the murder of Jews. He recently repeated that he would not stop paying salaries to tried, convicted and imprisoned murderers of Jews, and still calls these murderers heroic "martyrs". On all maps used by the Palestinian Authority and in Palestinian textbooks, Israel does not exist; it is labelled as Palestine.
The director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Lebanon, Ann Dismorr, poses with a map devoid of any trace of the State of Israel, instead presenting it as a map of "Palestine," May 2013. (Image source: Palestinian Media Watch)
A decade ago, a Spanish writer, Sebastian Vilar Rodriguez, wrote that Europe died in Auschwitz. He may well be right.
In 1945, Europe, the continent of Nazism, was in ruins, physically and morally. It had caused a World War so gruesome -- the crimes committed on its soil were so abominable -- that it did not have the courage to face them for more than two decades.
Europe rebuilt itself by affirming noble-sounding values of "integration" in the abstract, but without any thought to where they could lead.
As Europe had made Nazism the source of all evil, European leaders, in a desperate attempt to ward off their past, came to reject nationalism, patriotism, all Western national identities and now, it appears, even Western Enlightenment culture.
Most European countries, to show that they had fully turned the page, advocated peace at any price and gradually slipped into a spirit of submission.
Europeans, imbued with a generic sense of guilt, began attributing all that is wrong in the world to Western civilization. Because they had colonized parts of the Muslim world, they failed to note that Muslim culture had, in fact, colonized Persia, the Byzantine Empire, the Middle East, Greece, Cyprus, the Balkans, North Africa, Southern Spain, and, more recently, northern Cyprus.
Europe has rewritten history. In the textbooks of most European countries, the West is described almost unanimously as having "plundered" and "exploited" poor countries; never mind that poor countries were for centuries just as plundered and exploited by the Ottoman Empire. Europe has gradually abandoned itself to exaggerated repentance and Islamic influence.
In Europe today, Islam is inaccurately presented as imbued with tolerance and as having been "humiliated" by the West. Slavery is portrayed solely as a Western crime, despite still being common in Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Sudan and elsewhere in the Muslim world.
In 2014, the United Nations estimated that 21 million people are still "trapped in slavery" -- a number equivalent to the entire population of Romania. In Europe, however, slavery in the Muslim world is never mentioned. Islamic anti-Semitism is never mentioned, either. It is thought of merely as a "far-right" monstrosity.
Europe began to face the horror of the Holocaust only in the late 1970s, when an American television series, Holocaust, directed by Marvin Chomsky, was broadcast. A "duty of memory" was proclaimed.
At the same time, Europe was becoming increasingly anti-Israel -- considered by polite society a respectable way of hating Jews.
Europeans now accuse Israel of "crimes" under the pretext of supporting the "Palestinian cause". Europeans do not support genuine help for the Palestinians, such as freedom of speech, more and better jobs, human rights or uncorrupt governance; they just support the noble-sounding abstract idea of a "Palestinian state" -- but one that would like to eliminate Israel. The destruction of Israel, under the name of the "peace process" became for European leaders a way to show that they sympathized with Islam, "understood" the "mischief of the West ", and were searching for a way to exonerate themselves from their guilt regarding their treatment of the Jews -- while at the same time, surreptitiously, continuing to undermine them.
The thinking seems to be: if Israeli Jews are supposedly committing crimes similar to Nazi crimes -- which they are not -- one can claim that anyone can be a Nazi, even Jews; that accordingly the Jews are not so innocent, after all, and therefore deserve whatever might be coming to them.
Israel, the country that Europeans love to hate, is thereby not only made to embody the "mischief of the West" in the eyes of the Muslim world; it can comfortably be accused of anything without fear of retaliation.
Israel also happen to embody what Europe rejects: it is a nation-state proud of its identity. It does not have the luxury of talking blindly about "peace" while submitting to its enemies.
By accepting the decisions taken at UNESCO, European countries are unfortunately taking yet more steps in the direction of cowardice and their own self-destruction.
In a speech on July 5 in Warsaw, US President Donald Trump, recalling the accomplishments of Western civilization, observed that the fundamental question of our time is whether or not the West has the will to survive.
Just two days later, the UNESCO resolution on Hebron was voted on in Krakow, fewer than 50 miles from the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Before the vote, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Israel's ambassador to UNESCO, remarked that the UNESCO meeting was held near the largest mass grave of the Jewish people. His remarks clearly did not faze any of the participants, or induce anyone in Europe to think about the symbolic dimension of a vote like that in a place like that. Obscenely -- and in a massive insult to the memory of those who died in Auschwitz -- a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the Holocaust was immediately followed by a minute of silence in memory of the "victims of Israel". The Europeans, in other words, participated in one minute of silence for a free and democratic country which for seven decades has sued for peace, and one minute of silence for a repressive government that promotes and sponsors terrorism. Such a false moral equivalence could not have been more illuminating.
Europe has turned its back on Judaism -- which brought the first social laws to the West, and without which the West would not exist. By behaving ignominiously towards Israel and the Jews, and by supporting the anti-Jewish hatred ingrained in the Palestinian cause, as embodied by the Palestinian Authority, Europe continues to turn its back on all the values it professes to embody. One can only assume that Europe has lost the will to survive as a part of the West.
Israel and the United States, on the other hand, by being outraged over what has become of UNESCO, at least show respect for the values that have made the West great.
Showing full respect for these values, however, still involves a decision that should have been taken long ago: leaving UNESCO. Countries that still have a sense of decency have no place in an organization that has become so corrupted.
Israeli journalists have attributed responsibility for the murderous attack on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on July 14 to these recent UNESCO resolutions, which have only emboldened Israel's enemies to continue their attempted genocide.
UNESCO's latest decision -- defining Jerusalem as "Palestinian" and supposedly as "illegally occupied" -- has led Israel's enemies to conclude that UNESCO has given attacks in Jerusalem or Hebron a green-light legitimacy. Based on UNESCO's fraudulent decisions, who can blame them for thinking that?
Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.