UN draft resolution *rejects* Palestinian bid to list Church of Nativity as UNESCO World Heritage site

GENEVA, June 13, 2012 – The United Nations circulated a draft resolution rejecting a Palestinian bid to list the birthplace of Jesus as an endangered World Heritage site, citing a report by international experts who investigated and dismissed claims that the Church of Nativity was under any specific danger. CLICK HERE FOR UNESCO TEXT.

The draft resolution will be considered by UNESCO’s 21-nation World Heritage Committee at a meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, later this month. The panel has the power to overturn the expert-drafted text but insiders say that Arab states may not win the required two-thirds majority, noting that Russia, as the host country, may be hesitant to upset an objective evaluation submitted by UN professionals.

“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,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch monitoring group.

“At the UN, whose General Assembly each year adopts more resolutions criticizing Israel than on the rest of the world combined, this is a spectacle as rare as Halley’s Comet.”

“The reason for the extraordinary occurrence is that the Palestinians just joined UNESCO, and this is their first time using the World Heritage procedure, which, as they may not have realized, is governed in several stages by non-political experts, such as the International Council on Monuments and Sites, instead of the UN’s usual country voting,” said Neuer.

“While there’s no question that holy places are valid heritage sites, the experts’ complete rejection of the Palestinian claims underscores the unfortunate manner in which President Mahmoud Abbas is improperly politicizing a vital process for protecting the world’s culture.”

9 Responses to “UN draft resolution *rejects* Palestinian bid to list Church of Nativity as UNESCO World Heritage site”

  • Now might be a good time for a motion to remove Assad from all UN positions and point out the hypocrisy of having had both he and Gaddafi appointed to anything, even remotely related to Human Rights, heritage protection, or concern for humanity. Maybe the peace prize that Gaddafi gave to Mugabe would not also be withdrawn by showing the stupidity of that action. What about a long list of Arab lies and deceptions in one motion at the UN calling for an investigation into human rights abuses, including in Egypt, Bahrain, Saudia Arabia, Yemen, Iran. Surely if a motion came it would be seconded by Canada, and debated.

  • This is simply laughable; Israel honors and protects all religious sites and maintains safe and free access to all, unlike the Arabs, who used Jewish tombstones from Mount Scopus to build toilets and deny other religions access to their holy sites.

  • Well…one point for the U.N.! Now let’s see what the other 21 nations say about it.

  • Would that the Palestinians were so concerned about the fate of Christians in Gaza as they appear to be about Christian structures elsewhere.

  • The next project for the UN will be the contamination of the water supply in Gaza. Today this was headline news on the BBC World Service, followed up by an Arab employee of the Save the Children Fund who unequivocally blamed the Israeli “blockade” for the fact that the authorities in Gaza have failed to protect the water supply from various contaminants. This is not hot news of course, this has been known for a while but the Hamas government has done little or nothing to repair and protect the local infrastructure (even the detritus on the beaches is blamed on the “occupation”!).

  • It is extremely important that the Birthplace of Jesus Christ: the
    Church of the Nativity is mantained in the best condition, in its
    entirety, at all times.

    Palestinian claim that the birthplace of Jesus is an endangered World
    Heritage site, needs to be objectively examined since there may be
    a possibility of some damage to it due to neglect or willful
    damage. Their claim should not be taken lightly and just brushed
    aside and should not be completely ruled out 100%.

    Upon objective evaluation, suitable action should be initiated.

  • The Palestinians claim that the Jews have only arrived to colonialise Israel in the past 60 years. They deny the fact that Jews lived in the region for over 2,000 years. Since Jesus lived in Bethlehem and he was jewish, then we must remind the Palestinian that Jesus was raised in a Kosher home and that was more than 2,000 years ago. This proves indeed that Jews lived in the region.

    It is interesting that all of a sudden Muslims and in particular Palestinian Arabs are concerned about Christian religious sites when in fact Copts are being discriminated against in Egypt and their churches are burnt in Egypt and other Muslim countries.
    Since when have they shown any sign of tolerance towards other peoples’ religious sites? The only reason the Nativity church is still there, is because Israel preserves it !

  • Thank goodness someone saw sense! I completely agree with the person who said that Israel honours and protects ALL religious sites. I have been to Israel and have seen what the Israel government has done to protect these sites and to give access to everyone.

  • Assad and his regime brutally kills
    innocent, peace loving, well intending civilians.
    His regime chops hands, legs, heads of innocent
    to control by terror, where reason and justice
    are a perfect failure – because that does not
    even spare the most innocent small boys
    and girls.

    I have read documents of Assad’s crimes against
    humanity. His regime is directly, indirectly
    involved in terrible crimes against humanity.
    It is absolutely terrible that Assad be allowed to sit
    on Human Rights Committee; a person who cannot reason
    and who does not know the meaning of Justice.
    Please do not allow Assad to sit on Human Rights
    Committees but instead prosecuted under International
    Law in The International Court of Justice, Hague
    and given maximum punishment, accordingly.

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