Monday, October 17, 2011

Catholic Church support for Palestinian initiative?

Church of the Nativity, Bethleham

UNESCO is seeing a serious attempt of the Palestinian Authority and its supporters to have Palestine accepted as a UNESCO member state. Since only member states can propose sites for inclusion on the World Heritage list, membership would enable the Palestinian Authority to propose sites in Gaza and the West Bank for World Heritage designation.

I note the following from one of those pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian articles the pop up occasionally with respect to sites in the region that are holy to Jews, Catholics and Muslims:
The PA will seek World Heritage status for the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem, once the UN’s cultural agency (UNESCO) admits them as a full member. Hamdan Taha, the Palestinian Authority minister who deals with antiquities and culture, also listed Nablus and Hebron among 20 cultural heritage sites which he said could be nominated as World Heritage Sites...... 
The former Vatican’s archbishop in Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, who just promoted an appeal to the UE and US to “stop the Hebraization of Jerusalem,” and the current Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, who is denouncing the “Judaization of the city,” are just two major Christian figures who embraced Taha’s rhetoric.
I had not heard that officials of the Roman Catholic Church were concerned with the treatment its most holy site by Israel, much less that the Church officials would seem to prefer Palestinian Authority control of the sites.

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