When the UNESCO accepted the full membership of Palestine last year, the US and Israel raised hell. The US decided to cancel the funding it gave to the UNESCO, which amountsed to some 20% of the UNESCO’s annual budget.
Now the UNESCO ‘strikes’ again, declaring the ‘Birthplace of Jesus’ as a World Heritage Site, being the first such site in Palestine. Funny enough, Jerusalem itself (which is only 10 kilometers away from this ‘Birthplace’) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site under…Jordan!
The Birthplace includes Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem.
Other places added to the List yesterday include Rabat in Morocco. As Egyptian, I find hard to believe that Morocco should have more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than Egypt! (Morocco now has 9 sites, Egypt has 7), but it was never about the quantity.
Back to the Birthplace of Jesus, the US and Israel expectedly accused the listing of the site by the UNESCO as being ‘politically motivated’. Is there anything on earth that does not involve politics one way or antoher? Is there any doubt that a site like that should not belong to humanity at large?
Chapeau to the UNESCO for ignoring the criticism and for listing what truly needs to be protected in Palestine, a church and a pilgrimage route that belong to us all: a world heritage site.