Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Church of Nativity Named UNESCO Heritage Site

UNESCO has agreed to name the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as a World Heritage Site, and list it as in Palestine.

The secret vote, which came during the United Nations body’s World Heritage Convention in St. Petersburg, Russia, was 13-6, with two abstentions.

Israel and the United States had opposed the move, seeing it as advancing the Palestinians’ political agenda rather than as an effort to protect the site.

Three Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter on Thursday to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, urging him to oppose the resolution.

Reps. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), Shelley Berkley (D-N.V.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) wrote that “the Palestinians clearly are not motivated by technical concerns related to historical preservation, but rather are attempting to hijack the World Heritage process to further their own political objectives.”

“We do not believe UNESCO in general or the World Heritage Committee in particular is the appropriate forum for debating such contentious issues that have little to do with historic preservation,” the lawmakers wrote.

While the Palestinians police the Bethlehem’s streets, Israel still has authority to determine what enters and leaves the area.

UNESCO recognized Palestine last year as a member state by a overwhelming majority of 107-14 with objections from the U.S. and Israel.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.