UNESCO Politicizes World Heritage Site

July 16, 2012 3:14 pm 5 comments

Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. Photo: wiki commons.

UNESCO defied its own rules recently when it added the Church of the Nativity to the World Heritage List with a non-existent nation state as its location: Bethlehem, Palestine.  Due to an approaching deadline, the Palestinians requested that the Church be added under an emergency procedure claiming that the Church needed urgent repairs and was endangered by the Israeli occupation.  Ignoring the recommendations of their own technical advisory body, as well as its secretariat, and despite the fact that their application did not meet the necessary criteria to be listed through the emergency procedure, UNESCO forged ahead with the designation anyway.

Middle Eastern news sources lauded the move, claiming that the birthplace of the Muslim prophet Jesus was just as important to Muslims as Christians and therefore worthy of becoming a Palestinian World Heritage site. Yet not one statement from the PA reflected this more “spiritual” view. On the contrary, this highly politicized move by UNESCO was met with matching politicized rhetoric by the PA.

“This gives hope and confidence to our people in the inevitable victory of our just cause,” PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in a statement following the decision.

“It increases their determination to continue efforts at deepening readiness for the establishment of an independent state of Palestine, with its capital in east Jerusalem, within the 1967 borders.”

What does the UNESCO move have to do with protecting the Church of the Nativity in the end? Absolutely nothing. This hijacked agency of the UN has simply become another avenue to further delegitimize and attack the State of Israel.

Should the Palestinian government truly care for this historical and meaningful place, they would not have aided and abetted the terrorists that invaded the Church of the Nativity in 2002. A senior Tanzim commander at the time, Abdullah Abu-Hadid, related, “The idea was to enter the church in order to create international pressure on Israel… We knew beforehand that there was two years’ worth of food for 50 monks…” Eating and drinking through that supply in just over a month, the terrorists desecrated Bibles and prayer books and held the monks and nuns hostage throughout the ordeal.  There were even reports of the gunmen beating and attacking clergymen. Upon entering the Church, the IDF found that the front doors had been booby trapped with explosives.  Kind of puts a leaky roof into perspective.

The PA’s current claim is that this historical site is in danger due to a leaky roof, and subsequently the Israeli occupation.  The PA could fix the roof at any time. But this is not about preserving history – it is about rewriting and revising it.

The irony of this whole fiasco is found in the city’s true roots – Bethlehem is a Jewish city.  It is the burial place of the matriarch Rachel and the birthplace of the future great king of Israel, David.  It is known in the Bible as Bethlehem of Judea and the City of David. A Jewish Jesus was born to Jewish parents in this Jewish city, the Christian New Testament tells us. BeitLechem would also be the site where years later every young Jewish male baby under the age of 2 was slaughtered in case the rumors of a coming king that the Roman King Herod had heard proved true.

Google BeitLechem today and you would never know that it was ever so intimately connected with the history of the Jewish people and their historic homeland.

And so the debacles of yet another UN body continue.  An organization that is meant to protect the world’s heritage sites has succumbed to choosing sides in a regional conflict. The Church of the Nativity and its home city are merely being used by the Palestinians to advance their political agenda, and once again, with no regard for the consequences.

Jordanna McMillan is the IIACF’s Director of Outreach and Development.

5 Comments

  • Blessed is he who reads, Christians are spiritually dead? (Notice, shall all the tribes of the earth mourn) *Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Revelation 21:12 the twelve tribes are the children of Israel at the end of time) What tribe do Christians belong to?

  • America, the eagle favours the Israeli’s being (king David worshippers) and not the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. Why is the state of Israel waiting on an inheritance? *Isaiah 19:25 Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. *Jeremiah 16:16 And first I will recompense their inquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things. (Revelation 18:6) *Matthew 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

  • America, the eagle favours the Israeli’s being (king David worshippers) and not the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. Why is the state of Israel waiting on an inheritance? *Isaiah 19:25 Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. *Jeremiah 16:16 And first I will recompense their inquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things. (Revelation 18:6) *Matthew 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

  • How did the state of Israel escape bondage in Egypt? Who were the people that went from Africa, to America, name them? White people, alway say that’s in the past, so is Hitler the future? Esau, descendants are always claiming they are Jews (Revelation 2:9) Does a Negro claim he is Black, when speaking? Who is black, and called Negro, but colored folks followed Esau’s culture, to become African American. Tell the truth who wrote all the laws of the land in their eyes? (John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.) God is love, love truth, hate opinions *1st Kings 18:21 equals *Matthew 17:12

  • ” The PA could fix the roof at any time. But this is not about preserving history – it is about rewriting and revising it.” Funny you bring up rewriting history. Israel is pretty good at that, especially on tactics they used to remove Palastinians after their founding.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    JNS.org – Today’s comedy superstars, especially those whose careers are driven by television, may very well owe their success to pioneering Jewish entertainer Milton Berle. Born Mendel Berlinger in Manhattan in 1908, Berle became America’s first small-screen star. Aptly nicknamed “Mr. Television,” he influenced and helped promote the work of hundreds of younger comics. “Milton Berle was deceptively successful and very Jewish,” says Lawrence Epstein, author of The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America, published the year [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    JNS.org – Idan Ravin’s friends chipped in to buy him a humble but life-changing bar mitzvah gift—a basketball hoop his father attached to the roof of his garage. Little did his friends know that years later, he would be the personal trainer of National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, and Stephen Curry. Ravin’s new book, “The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball’s Best Players,” details his rise from a Jewish upbringing [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs 10 New Hollywood Movies That Aim to Show Support for Israel (SATIRE)

    10 New Hollywood Movies That Aim to Show Support for Israel (SATIRE)

    Ten major film studios are currently in production on projects that promote a decidedly pro-Israeli narrative. In famously liberal Hollywood, such a development has left mouths agape and set tongues a wagging. Since the Jewish State began defending itself from the thousands of rockets that Hamas has hurled at it – as well as ongoing terror attacks and murders, the overwhelming number of Tinseltown’s producers, directors, actors, and studio moguls have remained indifferent to the plight of millions of Israeli [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Israel Sports So Close: Israeli Judoka Loses Crown in World Cup Final, Finishes With Silver (VIDEO)

    So Close: Israeli Judoka Loses Crown in World Cup Final, Finishes With Silver (VIDEO)

    Israeli Judoka Yarden Gerbi (63kg), 25, of Netanya, on Thursday lost the final round at the Judo World Cup, and her world title to Clarisse Agbegnenou of France, at a match held in Russia. “I have mixed feelings,” Gerbi told Israeli Army radio. But, “I shouldn’t assume that I’d win the world Judo championship twice in a row,” she admitted. Gerbi won gold in Rio De Janeiro last year. “When I made my decision, I knew it was going to [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    “Jews Out!” was just the name of a child’s game that three little girls played in World War II Europe. But all is not as it seems because the three girls were Jewish, but hiding their true identities. In award-winning author R. D. Rosen’s riveting non-fiction work, Such Good Girls, “Jews Out!” wasn’t a game; it was a struggle for survival. The girls, Sophie, Flora, and Carla, grew up at a time and a place that did not allow them [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    JNS.org – “He was part hippie, part yippie, part beatnik, and part New Age,” wrote Elli Wohlgelernter in a Jerusalem Post eulogy in 1994, following the Oct. 20 passing of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Twenty years later, more robust accounts of Carlebach’s life have come to the surface. Earlier this year, Natan Ophir published the book Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Life, Mission & Legacy. This past summer, Rabbi Shlomo Katz’s The Soul of Jerusalem hit the shelves. But even the authors will admit [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    As Hamas loses its grip on power in the Gaza Strip as a result of war, poverty and disillusionment, the Islamist terrorist group has developed an ingenious way to raise the morale of the 1.7 million Palestinian Arabs it was elected to serve. While currently focused on delivering a rocket into every Israeli home, Hamas has not left its own people behind. To gently wipe away the tears of children strategically placed inside kindergartens as human shields, the Hamas Interior Ministry [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    In a strong statement that challenges the historic divide between Christianity and Judaism, Pope Francis recently proclaimed, “Inside every Christian is a Jew.” But if you look at Renaissance artworks that depict Jesus, you will not find any evidence of a Jew inside the Christianized Jesus — even though the Gospels in the New Testament tell us that Jesus was Jewish to the core. Getting that point across to the public is a daunting task, as I learned in interviews I [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.