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...

  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    Did you know that in the entire Bible, only one birthday is mentioned and it is that of Pharaoh? And did you know that according to some scientists, by accepting Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, it is impossible to prove or disprove that the sun is the gravitational center of our solar system? In his new book, REBBE, best-selling author Joseph Telushkin reveals many surprising and sometimes shocking details as he chronicles the life and teachings of the charismatic Rabbi [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Mitzvos New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    JNS.org – Omelet sandwich: 5 shekels. Iced coffee: 5 shekels. Tuna sandwich: 5 shekels. Fresh-squeezed orange juice: 5 shekels. Cheese bureka: 5 shekels. There’s plenty more on the Cofizz menu, but you get the idea. Dani Mizrahi and Amir Amshalm, two Israeli men in their early 30s, asked themselves: Why not launch a take-out food joint in busy neighborhoods around Jerusalem where everything—and that means everything—goes for five shekels, or about $1.50. They’d seen the concept take off in Tel Aviv, where [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    The new FX Network drama Tyrant was shot entirely in Israel, just 10 miles north of Tel Aviv, Bloomberg News reported last Tuesday. Tyrant follows the life of an Arab dictator’s second son Barry, played by Adam Rayner, who reluctantly returns home to the Middle Eastern nation of his birth to join the family business away from his suburban life in America. The elaborate set production for the primetime drama included a crew of 300 and a reported cost of over $3 million [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Skokie, Il-born 25-year-old Erin Heatherton (Erin Heather Bubley) is rocking the modeling world. And in a new interview accompanying a cover spread for Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine, she says Jewish moms are “constantly trying to set her up with their sons.” Imagine that – who would have thought? “The moms, they’re doing what they do. It doesn’t matter what country they live in, what city – grandmothers, too,” she admitted. “But I’m probably going to do that too one day.” Heatherton was [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Israel First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    Some 15 Turkish university professors and lecturers will take part in a first of its kind seminar at Holocaust museum Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies starting next week. The trip is especially significant as Holocaust denial is rampant in the Arab world. A Palestinian professor was recently forced to resign after he led a trip to the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz. Participants in the week-long program at Yad Vashem will experience in-depth tours of the museum’s archives and [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.