(JTA) — Is Jesus’ birthplace, the Church of the Nativity, located in Israel or Palestine? According to the popular prime time game show “Jeopardy!,” the answer just may be both.
At the end of the first round on Friday night’s show, part of its popular Greatest Of All Time tournament, one question remained in the usually-a-slam-dunk $200 slot under the heading “Where’s that Church?”
The answer: “Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity.”
(Remember, in Jeopardy! the game board provides the answer, and the contestant gives the question)
Returning champion, who was leading at the end of the round, Katie Needle of Brooklyn, N.Y. buzzed in with the question: “What is Palestine?”
Host Alex Trebek informed her that her answer was incorrect.
Last-place contestant Jack McGuire, from San Antonio, Texas, whose score had him in last place, then buzzed in with “What is Israel?” This answer got the nod and $200 for McGuire.
Even before the commercial break was over, social media went into over-drive with those insisting that Needle was right and others doubling down on Israel as the correct answer.
And when the show came back from the commercial break, Needle’s score, not McGuire’s, was 200 higher. This means the judges decided that her answer was, after all, correct. But Trebek did not provide an explanation for his viewing public.
The Church of the Nativity is located in Bethlehem, which sits in the West Bank. Bethlehem is in what is designated as Area A of the West Bank, which falls under both Palestinian civil and military control, since the signing of the Oslo II accords in 1995.
The United Nations lists the Church of the Nativity, which is a World Heritage Site, as being in Palestine.
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‘Jeopardy!’ can’t decide if Bethlehem is In Palestine or Israel