Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.
UNESCO to formally consider World Heritage status for Church of the Nativity. Date set for Mavi Marmara trial. Did the Mubarak trial serve justice, or military interests?
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Israel and the Palestinians
• UNESCO says it will consider adding Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity to its World Heritage List. According to UNESCO’s statement, the site’s full name will be “Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem.”
Is the PA’s UNESCO push political? Heck yeah. Last year, Hebron’s mayor, Khaled Osaily told Time that World Heritage status for the Tomb of the Patriarchs would pave the way for PA control over the site and bar Jewish prayer there.
FYI, another Israeli site contending for World Heritage status will fly under the radar of the Bethlehem stink. “Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel: The Nahal Me’arot/Wadi el-Mughara caves. ”
• While Congress tries to get an accurate count of the original Palestinian refugees, Asaf Romirowsky (Haaretz) picks apart the UNRWA:
UNRWA states that the Palestinians are occupied – indefinitely. UNRWA has financial and political interests in maintaining this fiction: as long as the Palestinians are refugees, UNRWA is in business. Of the 30,000 people that UNRWA employs, the vast majority are Palestinian: UNRWA is the largest single employer of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Contrast this to the UN High Commission for Refugees, that only employs 5-6,000 people globally, and which focuses far more clearly on resettlement and rehabilitation of refugees and building new lives, and not on maintaining services that prop up the status quo.
• AP picks up on Sandra Tamari, a peace activist expelled from Israel after a security agent poked through her GMail account looking for incriminating evidence.