Palestinians likely to claim Dead Sea Scrolls at next UNESCO meeting

The request to include the Qumran Caves and Dead Sea Scrolls as their own may be made at the next UNESCO meeting this July, the Simon Wiesenthal Center predicts.

By: World Israel News Staff

The next “prize” the Palestinians will likely claim as their own at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will probably be the archeological site of Qumran and its Dead Sea Scrolls, Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Wednesday, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Addressing a panel on the denial of Jewish history in international organizations at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem, Samuels listed the Palestinians’ “success” at falsely claiming ownership of biblical and cultural sites, the Post reported.

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has ascribed to “Palestine” Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity in 2012; the agricultural terraces of Battir, site of the ancient Jewish fortress at Betar, in 2014; and Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs in 2017, the Post noted.

In October 2016, the Committee voted in favor of a resolution denying the millennia-old Jewish connection to Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

“This is yet another absurd resolution against the State of Israel, the Jewish people and historical truth,” Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen stated at the time. “There is no connection of another people to another place in the world that comes close to the strength and depth of our connection to Jerusalem from a religious, historical and national perspective, a connection that has stood the test of 2,000 years.”

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The request to include the Qumran Caves and the Dead Sea Scrolls may be made at the next World Heritage Committee meeting this July in Bahrain, Samuels told the conference, the Post reported.

Already in November 2016, Israel Radio reported that the Palestinians were planning the next stage in their attempted denial of Israel’s history and heritage by preparing to lay claim to the Dead Sea Scrolls at UNESCO.

The scrolls, mostly Hebrew writings from the Second Temple period, were discovered in the Qumran Caves in the environs of the Dead Sea. They include many biblical texts and are believed to have been written by members of a Jewish sect known as the Essenes.