Why does the UN love these Israeli caves? Jesus Christ Superstar, obvs!

What makes a place so special that it might be considered the inheritance of all humanity — a World Heritage site, as it were?

If you were to consult UNESCO’s list of World Heritage criteria, you would see that the international body that determines such status considers ten benchmarks. Does the site “bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization,” for instance, does it “contain superlative natural phenomena”? All those things are, no doubt, very important.

But when it comes to one of the most recent additions to the U.N.’s list, Israel’s Beit Guvrin Bell Caves, there’s even less doubt as to what the real reason was: “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Oh, you won’t find a hint of the rock opera in UNESCO’s announcement, or in any of the various press reports — but trust me.

The Bell Caves served as the location par excellence for a crucial early set piece in the 1973 film version of the musical, directed by Norman Jewison. The disciples and their women have set up camp (goats and all) more or less at the feet of Jesus, and are exuberantly demanding to know (in the parlance of the time): “What’s the buzz? Tell me what’s a-happenin’!” Jesus insists that even if they knew the path they trod, they wouldn’t understand, but the excited acolytes will not be dissuaded. Mary Magdalene comes along and soothes Jesus with a cool face-and-foot wash, and Jesus allows as only she knows what he really needs.

But then! A drastic tonal change: In comes Judas….

To read the rest, please click through to The Forward.

UNESCO declares Church of the Nativity a World Heritage Site; Israel and the US throw a tantrum.

How does one even begin to respond to this:

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel and the United States blasted the UN cultural agency Friday after it recognized holy sites in the city of Bethlehem by adding them to a world heritage list.

“This is proof that UNESCO is motivated by political and not cultural considerations,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement following the decision.

“Instead of taking steps to promote peace, the Palestinians are acting unilaterally, which makes peace more distant,” Reuters quoted the statement as saying.

…The US ambassador to UNESCO, David Killion, said he was “profoundly disappointed by the decision”.

The birthplace of the baby Jesus has been declared a World Heritage Site, and because the people who asked UNESCO to do it were Palestinians, it’s a unilateral move motivated by anti-Israel sentiment that “makes peace more distant.” The birthplace of the baby Jesus. 

AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WHO I LOVE SO MUCH AGREES.

There are not enough desks in this world for me to :: headdesk :: upon.

But don’t forget kids! Settlements are not the problem. They don’t “make peace more distant,” like, at all.

h/t Maan News Agency

%d bloggers like this: