Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Palestine Photo:Lewis Larsson
A huge story. UNESCO has granted world heritage status to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. So Palestine continues to push for recognition in international bodies. Al Akhbar:
The UN cultural body UNESCO ignored Israeli objections on Friday to grant world heritage status to the birthplace of Jesus Christ in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.
UNESCO’s 13-6 secret vote to add the Church of the Nativity and its pilgrimage route to the prestigious list was received with a round of rousing applause and a celebratory fist pump by the beaming head of the Palestinian delegation.
The Palestinians had pressed to have the church and pilgrimage route inscribed as an emergency candidate at the meeting of the World Heritage 21-nation committee in St. Petersburg, Russia….
The United States and Israel opposed.
Take a letter. “Dear Christian Zionists…”
Updated. From the Associated Press:
The US ambassador to UNESCO, David Killion, said the United States is “profoundly disappointed” by the World Heritage committee’s decision to place the Church of Nativity on the World Heritage list. “This body should not be politicized,” he said.
”The site clearly has tremendous religious and historical significance,” Killion’s statement said. “However, the emergency procedure used in this instance is reserved only for extreme cases.”
(Thanks to Annie Robbins)