(JTA) – Is Jesus’ birthplace in Israel or Palestine? According to the popular prime time game show “Jeopardy!” the answer just may be both.
At the end of the first round of Friday night’s show, part of its popular Greatest Of All Time tournament, one question remained in the $200 slot under the heading “Where’s that Church?”
The answer: “Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity.”
(Remember: In “Jeopardy!” the game board provides the answer, and the contestant must give the question.)
Returning champion Katie Needle of Brooklyn, N.Y., buzzed in with the question: “What is Palestine?”
Host Alex Trebek informed her that her answer was incorrect.
Then contestant Jack McGuire, from San Antonio, Texas, who was then in last place, buzzed in with, “What is Israel?” This answer got him the nod and the $200.
Even before the commercial break was over, social media went into overdrive, with many insisting that Needle was right, and others doubling down saying that Israel is the correct answer.
But when the show came back from the commercial break, Needle’s score, not McGuire’s, was $200 higher. This means that the judges decided that her answer was, after all, correct. But host Trebek did not provide an explanation for the viewing public.
The Church of the Nativity is located in Bethlehem, which sits in the West Bank. Bethlehem is in what is designated as Area A of the West Bank, which has fallen under both Palestinian civil and military control since the signing of the Oslo II accords in 1995.
The United Nations lists the Church of the Nativity, which is a World Heritage Site, as being in Palestine.