New research by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE): The Palestinian Authority, together with Islamist centres, give new Islamic names to historical Jewish sites – Rachel's Tomb as an example.
A new report by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE) following an UNESCO decision recognising Rachel's Tomb as a mosque only – finds out that the Palestinian Authority in their schoolbooks, gives new names to historical sites, among them Rachel's tomb.
The report...reveals that although in school books from 1995 Rachel's Tomb was mentioned by its historical name, since 2001 suddenly the civil studies books' editors reported to their students that they have decided "with the help of Arab and Islamic centres" to change its name to Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque. It should be noted that Bilal was a slave who was set free and then converted to Islam after meeting Muhammad of the Quraish tribe. Only two traditions are known regarding his burial; one is that he is buried in Bader near Amman, the other that he is buried in Damascus. Now, as seen in IMPACT-SE's report, the Palestinians decided on a new tradition turning feminine Rachel into a masculine Bilal Mosque. The report's author and CEO of the institute, Poetess Shelley Elkayam, explains that the phenomenon is characterised by a few levels of significance, among them gender symbolism alongside subversive logical undermining and a slipping away from the modern-historical to the mythical-legendary.
The IMPACT-SE report shows the change clearly. On page 91 in the book "Palestinian civil studies" for grade 6 from 1995, Rachel's tomb is "Rachel's tomb: mother of Joseph our lord (Said) and Jacob's wife", while on page 56 in the book "civil studies" for grade 7 from 2001 Rachel's tomb was suddenly transformed by the Palestinians into a mosque.
The author of the IMPACT-SE report emphasises that the new Palestinian edition itself explains the process of change as a conscious manipulation which was done by "Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic centres and with the help of charities working to revive the Arab Palestinian heritage to maintain the character of Palestine and its heritage like Al-Burke Wall – the Western Wall, Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque – Rachel's tomb". The Palestinian school book also describes the Israelis as attempting to change the names of Muslim and Christian holy places.
Pallywood all over again.