The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will soon decide whether to honor the Palestinian application to award The Church of the Nativity the designation of a World Heritage Site—a title reserved for locations considered to have outstanding Universal Value.

The World Heritage Committee is now meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia, presumably to decide to whom to award the Church of the Nativity, said to be the birthplace of Christ, as well as the Pilgrimage Route in Bethlehem.

Here is where it gets problematic: although only applicants recognized as having an independent state are eligible for consideration, the Palestinians are being considered even though they do not meet that qualification.

This ambitious move by the Palestinian Authority [PA] started in February 2011; Palestinian Tourism Minister Khulud Daibes was explicit about the motive: “The timing is crucial for us; it is part and parcel of our plan to end the (Israeli) occupation and build the institutions of the state of Palestine.”

The drive to have the Church of the Nativity recognized as a global heritage site is nothing short of offensive. Christians have been driven out of their ancestral lands; Palestinians have shown nothing but hostility to both Christians and Jews. Moreover, Christ himself was a Jew.

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