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Friday, June 15, 2012

Pigs fly: UNESCO REJECTS 'Palestinian' bid to register Church of the Nativity

I meant to post this yesterday and never got to it. In a move that UN Watch's Hillel Neuer describes as 'rare as Haley's comet,' UNESCO's secretariat decided on Thursday to come out against a bid by the 'Palestinian Authority' to use an emergency procedure to make Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity an historic site of 'Palestine.'
“This is the first time in recent memory that a draft resolution circulated by the United Nations – let alone by UNESCO, which recently elected Assad’s Syria to its human rights committee – openly rejected a Palestinian claim or position,” Neuer said. His Geneva-based nonprofit group monitors UN activity.

The secretariat’s resolution echoes a conclusion by the International Council on Monuments and Sites, whose professional staff similarly concluded that the Palestinians should pursue World Heritage registration through regular channels. It, like the secretariat, said that more could be done to improve the technical nature of the application.

The Church of the Nativity is one of the 36 potential new World Heritage sites. A World Heritage Committee of 21 countries is set to debate their inclusion during a meeting that will be held from June 24 to July 6 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The draft resolution posted by the secretariat on the World Heritage website states that the Palestinians should “resubmit the nomination in accordance with normal procedures for nomination, to allow a proper assessment of integrity, authenticity and conversation, and proper consideration of management arrangements and appropriate boundaries for the property.”

The final decision will be made by a two-thirds vote of the 21 countries that are members of the World Heritage Committee.


Israel has opposed registering the site under Palestine, until such time as it becomes a state as a result of a negotiated end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has opposed all unilateral steps toward statehood by the PA.

It does, however, support registering the church as a World Heritage site, and would have wanted to present it to the committee together with the Palestinians as a joint endeavor.

Israel’s position at present is simply to urge the 21 member countries to support the secretariat’s position.

The Palestinians in turn say that the church is endangered and that it is their right to register the site solely under Palestine.
That must have been one badly done application.

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At 9:41 AM, Blogger Adam said...

After the whole Pally-recognition-UN-funding kerfuffle they don't want to risk it—there's no new wisdom at the UN!


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