On the first night of the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, Israeli President Isaac Herzog lit a menorah at the Tomb of the Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron. At the ceremony he said “The historic connection of Jews to Hebron, to the tomb of the patriarch, to the heritage of the patriarchs and matriarchs is unquestionable. Recognition of this connection must be beyond all controversy.“
Herzog took the opportunity to preach for peace and unity with Arabs, who are also descendants of Abraham through his son Ishmael, stating “we all have shared roots from this cave. Alongside that, we have to remember that our roots are not the only ones that go back to this cave. Especially today, and especially here, in this holy space dedicated to all sons of Abraham, we have to continue dreaming of peace, between all faiths and creeds in this land, and to condemn any type of hatred or violence.“
The Arabs were not interested in the Israeli president’s talk of peace between brothers.
Just as they had banned Jews from visiting their second holiest location (on par with Medina for Muslims) for hundreds of years until Israel took control of the site in 1967, the Arab Muslims spoke about the candle lighting ceremony with disdain and threats of violence.
The Palestinian political-terrorist group Hamas said that lighting a candle was “a provocation” and “a flagrant violation” of the site’s sanctity, calling on Palestinians to confront Israelis at the scene.
The Arab League said it was angered by Herzog’s “storming” of the site and that it showed “the continuation of their official and organized terrorism against the Palestinian people, their rights, and sanctities, in the same approach they practice in Judaizing Jerusalem, and targeting Al-Aqsa Mosque and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory.” It called upon the international – and the United Nations specifically – to “reject the targeting of Islamic and Christian sanctities, including this intrusion, and to assume responsibilities to take the necessary measures to confront this aggression.“
One expects vile anti-Semitic calls for violence from Hamas. Even though the United Nations won’t say it explicitly, it knows that the highly popular group is against a two-state solution and seeks to destroy Israel.
But the UN warmly embraces the Arab League.
In January 2021, United Nations Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo said that cooperation between the UN and the Arab League has been critical in the search for a two-state solution. The head of UNRWA, Phillipe Lazzarini, addressed the Arab League in September 2021 in an appeal for monies.
The UN shamefully considers the Arab League an important partner in the Middle East, even as the group flagrantly ignores Jewish history and rights, and inflames the region with outrageous claims of “terrorism” for lighting a menorah during Chanukah. It is well past time for the UN to finally begin confronting and condemning these enemies of coexistence.