EMET Opposes “Orwellian” PA posturing over Church of the Nativity at UNESCO

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Sarah Stern

(Washington, D.C.)- The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) registers its opposition to the public announcement that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will pursue the registration of the Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem as a United Nations Educational, Scientific,and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site in “Palestine.”

Sarah Stern, President and Founder of EMET, said, “We knew back in October of last year that the PA’s successful admission to UNESCO would result in that international organization being exploited as yet another UN forum for the denigration and political warfare that the PA wages against Israel. But their decision to attempt to register the Church of the Nativity, a Christian holy site, as a piece of Palestinian history, while at the same time they continue to persecute Christians in the areas under Islamic Sharia law, as written into the PA Constitution, is truly outrageous.”

Once the majority, Christians in Bethlehem made up only 30,000 of a 130,000 population in 2002, as a result of emigration by Christians fleeing from, among other factors, Islamization, the enforcement of “dhimmi” laws upon the Christian community, including ruthless bullying and discrimination, criminal extortion and levying of excessive taxes, and fear of Palestinian-Authority rule.

“George Orwell warned us that he who controls the past controls the future,” Stern continued, “And the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to distort and disrupt the history of the land, including claiming Jesus himself as a Palestinian, are truly Orwellian. UNESCO is supposed to focus on preserving history. This is about the PA perverting history for political ends.”

EMET works tirelessly to end U.S. funding for United Nations organizations which allow themselves to be used as forums for the PA’s efforts. In pursuit of that effort, EMET is a strong supporter of H.R. 2829 The United Nations Transparency, Accountability and Reform Act of 2011, sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), which would shift U.S. funding of the United Nations to a voluntary basis, allowing the U.S. to avoid funding organizations, such as UNESCO, which allow themselves to be exploited by the Palestinian Authority, and other authoritarian regimes.

“It’s bad enough that the PA uses U.N programs and organizations to distort the historical record, manipulate public opinion, and demonize Israel,” Stern said, “but it’s long past time that the United States stop paying to help them do it.”

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Kyle Shideler
Kyle Shideler is the Director of Research and Communications for the Endowment for Middle East Truth

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