Arutz 7 has reported that on 21 October 2010, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) voted recently on a resolution prepared by seven Arab states, to officially declare Rachel's Tomb to be a mosque. UNESCO director Irena Bokova had previously stated “concern” at Israel's decision to treat the tomb as a heritage site. The PA has also demanded total control of Rachel's Tomb, the Tomb of the Patriarchs--the burial site of the other Biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs--and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Furthermore, UNESCO could not really explain any Moslem connection to Rachel’s Tomb! In a note to the proposed resolution, the holy site is called “the Tomb of Rachel, home to the historic Bilal ibn Rabah Mosque.” But nowhere in the 11-paragraph document is it explained how or when the site became Moslem! The remarks of protestation made by Israeli representative Nimrod Barkan were erased from the protocol because UNESCO claimed that his words were “too aggressive”.
The site has been recognized for over 3,000 (Rachel passed away in 1552 BCE) years as the tomb of Matriarch Rachel. It is considered as Judaism’s third holiest site, and is one of the oldest sacred places of prayer on earth. Rachel, wife of Jacob, is the quintessential mother in the Jewish psyche and it is here that Jews come to pour out their most gut-wrenching prayers. In 1169, Benjamin of Tudela, mentions a pillar made of 11 stones and a cupola resting on four columns "and all the Jews that pass by carve their names upon the stones of the pillar." The brick cube with the dome was constructed around 1620 by the Ottomans. It was Sir Moses Montifeori who renovated the Tomb in 1841 and added on an anteroom and enclosed the dome over the grave marker so that pilgrims could find shelter from the elements. Pilgrims came to Rachell's Tomb long before King Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem, and they continue to come until today.
Genesis 35:16-21 (King James Version)
It was only a little more than ten years ago, that the PA begin to call the site the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque, and now they want to change history by having Rachel's Tomb removed from Israel's Heritage list. In fact, if we go back a few years, a publication called “Palestine, the Holy Land,” published by the Palestinian Council for Development and Rehabilitation, with an introduction by Yasser Arafat, simply says that: "at the northwest entrance to [Bethlehem] lies the tomb of the matriarch Rachel, who died while giving life to Benjamin." (Benjamin-one of the 12 tribes)
This ongoing effort to de-legitimize Israel must be stopped! For the threat is not only to Israel. For some time now, arabs have been spreading rumors that Mother Mary was a Muslim and that Jesus will only return to convert the world to Islam! Allowing this ongoing rape of history affects all of us from every faith and denomination. Even now, while the media remains silent, Christians in Muslim countries are being tortured and murdered daily, churches are burned, graves are desecrated and bones dug up. Ancient statues of the Buddhists were destroyed and nobody spoke up, now they make claims on the Holy sites of the Jews and the silence is deafening, and when they make claim to what remains there will be nobody left to stop them.