The Palestinian Authority is pushing to have the birthplace of Christ designated as a U.N. World Heritage site, but such an application is made by independent states. This overambitious move by the P.A. is intended to facilitate its aggressive bid for statehood.
“The timing is crucial for us; it is part and parcel of our plan to end the (Israeli) occupation and build the institutions of the state of Palestine,” Palestinian Tourism Minister Khulud Daibes said as she presented UNESCO with the formal submission, which includes Bethlehem’s “pilgrimage route.”
The grim reality:
Since the Palestinian Authority’s takeover of Bethlehem in 1995, under the Oslo Accords with Israel , Bethlehem has been transformed from a Christian city into a Muslim city. Bethlehem ’s remaining Christians now live in a condition of dhimmitude .
The Palestinians brought with them a political system based on primitive tribal relations, where the power of one’s clan became a substitute for the law. As a consequence, Christians have suffered civil outrage and criminal violence without recourse to justice.
The once Christian dominated Bethlehem now has a Christian population of under 15 percent, and Christian persecution is the norm in the Arab world:
Indeed, the Christian population of the entire West Bank — mostly Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic, with Copts, Russian Orthodox, Armenians and others — is dwindling.
But, again, the story’s the same in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere in the Mideast. Practically the only place in the region where the Christian population is growing is in Israel.
Only days ago the P.A. lobbied for a statement to recognize Palestinian Statehood at the Middle East Quartet in Munich where representatives from the U.S., E.U., Russia and the U.N. assembled. The P.A. has garnered support in its bid from Russia and many Latin American countries.
What makes this opportunistic abomination to have the Church of the Nativity recognized as a global heritage site even more jarring is the disdain Islamists have for both Christians and Jews. The de-Christianization of Bethlehem and subsequent Islamization are compounded by the P.A. not recognizing Israel’s right to exist as evidenced by the Palestinian and Hamas Charters.