The Palestinian Authority is expected to ask UNESCO on Wednesday to recognize the West Bank village of Batir as a World Heritage siteAlready it has been recognized, sort of, as a heritage site:
The Historical and Cultural Museum-Reservation of Garni (Armenia) and the Palestinian cultural landscape of Battir are the winners of this year’s Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes (UNESCO-Greece). The prize will be awarded at a ceremony to be held at UNESCO Headquarters on 24 May.And there is also Bethlehem. According to this document, page 5, the city was submitted last January for consideration as the "Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route".“In rewarding the management of Garni and Battir, UNESCO wishes to raise awareness of these sites’ beauty and importance, of their tangible and symbolic values, so as to help avert threats to their continued preservation,” said the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, endorsing the recommendation of an international jury.The laureates will receive $US 15,000 each....The Battir Cultural Landscape (Battir Village and its surroundings, occupied Palestinian territory) testifies to 4,000 years of the terraced cultivation of vines and olives. Home to 1,150 people, of whom 350 live in the village of Husan, the landscape also features walled terraces, irrigation canals, watchtowers and other dry stone edifices. The site is recognized for its great aesthetic and symbolic value. The jury particularly emphasized action undertaken to stabilize the traditional agricultural use of the landscape in cooperation with local farmers and the adoption of protection legislation and a sound management plan. Battir is part of a larger area (“Land of Olives and Vines”), which is included in the “Inventory of cultural and natural heritage sites of potential outstanding universal value in Palestine”, issued by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities with a view to future nomination for World Heritage listing.
I guess I am a bit ambivalent.After all, Battir is indeed a heritage site but of Jewish content. And Jesus was born a Jew in the land of Judea and crucified as "King of the Jews".
So whose heritage is the Palestinian Authority promoting.
And as for Battir, let''s not forget, the fortress of Bar-Kochba, Betar, is located in the village boundaries.If the Pals. recognize the Jewish historical heritage of the village, I think that that would go a long way to establishing coexistence. And a longer way to disproving their inventivity/disinventivity model of artifical national identity.