Monday, June 11, 2012

Fatah Follies: "Jesus’ Birthplace in Danger"

Back in October 2011, "Palestine" was admitted into UNESCO after a vote of 107-14 out of 173, short of the 2/3 vote necessary to actually admit a member according to UNESCO's actual rules.

The only question remaining is whether UNESCO takes anything else having to do with this new member seriously.

In 'Jesus’ Birthplace in Danger.' Not!, we are informed by UN Watch of the latest fairy-tale that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority has concocted, suggesting:
“Birthplace of Jesus: the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage route, Bethlehem” is under urgent danger and worthy of special U.N. protection, a declaration that could only further inflame the region.

In its submission, the PLO claims that “the Israeli occupation,” which is “hampering the supply of appropriate materials,” creates an “emergency situation” that needs to be addressed by “an emergency measure.”
This latest piece of Palestinian propaganda has already been quickly and easily debunked by International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), whose job it is to advise the World Heritage Committee on which nominated properties to list.

They said flat out that this, the first of many such claims we can expect to see, was a complete fabrication:
“[T]he Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage route in Bethlehem, Palestine should not be inscribed on the World Heritage List on an emergency basis ... ICOMOS does not consider that the conditions required by paragraph 161 of the Operational Guidelines are fully met, concerning damage or serious and specific dangers to the Church of the Nativity that make its condition an emergency that needs to be addressed by the World Heritage Committee with immediate action necessary for the survival of the property.”
In addition, ICOMOS pointed out that
  • The Church of the Nativity was not "severely damaged"
  • The Church of the Nativity was not "under imminent threat"
  • There was no need for "immediate action...necessary for the survival of the property"
  • Contrary to Israel being found to be a threat, the report noted the church’s roof, which is supposed to be at great risk, was repaired "most recently in 1990, when works were implemented by the Israeli military authorities."
In conclusion, ICOMOS told the Palestinian Authority "resubmit the nomination in accordance with normal procedures for nomination."

One assumes that by "normal" ICOMOS meant "honest".

No matter, even as we speak, Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are no doubt hard at work cooking up another suggestion for UNESCO.

UNESCO broke the rules to allow Abbas & Friends as members, and now they can deal with the consequences.

Unfortunately, so must we.

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