Church of Nativity Decision Blasted as ´Politically Perverted´ (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Rachel Hirshfeld 07/03/12)
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The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed deep disappointment that
the UNESCO World Heritage Committee succumbed to the politicized
Palestinian bid to put Bethlehem´s Church of the Nativity on the list
of endangered World Heritage Sites.
"With this vote, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has forsaken its
responsibility for protecting the world´s most important and sacred
sites, and has proven to be another hackneyed, politicized body,"
said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, who added that the
United States should, therefore, "re-evaluate the value of remaining
a member of UNESCO.”
"We do not dispute that the Church of the Nativity is a treasured and
sacred site that could qualify for special status," Foxman said. "We
dispute the process, which supported the Palestinian´s cynical
strategy to circumvent World Heritage procedures and facetiously
claim the site to be endangered. In bowing to this perverted
Palestinian bid, the committee ignored the recommendations of their
own advisory council´s investigation and the entreaties of the
church´s own religious leadership who must live with the practical
implications of this decision."
ADL expressed appreciation to the six countries that voted against
the measure in keeping with established procedures and norms.
Thirteen countries voted in support of the designation, and two
The Palestinian Authority applied for expedited World Heritage status
for the church, which is one of the most holy sites in Christianity,
claiming it was endangered. This procedure is generally used for
sites deemed to be in dire physical danger of destruction, but since
that is not the case, many claim that the PA is using it to further
its own politicized agenda.
Moreover, in a letter leaked to the media, the three guardians of the
Church, Theophilus III, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista
Pizzaballa, the Custos of the Holy Land, and Archbishop Torkom
Manoogian, Patriarch of the Armenian Church, wrote to Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas opposing the authority´s bid for emergency
UNESCO status. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 07/03/12)
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