|Gustave Dore: The Burial of Sarah (completed 1866)|
At the request of several Arab states, UNESCO resolved in 2010 to declare the Tomb a "Palestinian" heritage site. A Haaretz article at the time ("Israel slams 'absurd' UNESCO decision on Jerusalem, West Bank holy sites") said the UNESCO board voted 44 to one, with 12 abstentions, to declare the Tomb of the Patriarchs "an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories".
We're reminded of the statement made by a former foreign minister of Israel, the quotable and erudite Abba Eban, who had an uncommon ability to see and explain the absurd in public life. He knew what it meant to faced the tyranny of loaded and prejudiced international organizations, especially the organs of the Arab-dominated UN. "If Algeria introduced a resolution", he famously said, "declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions."
Eban was an optimist.