UNESCO Adds Site Near Jericho to World Heritage List

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The Facts

  • The United Nations voted on Sunday to designate prehistoric ruins at Tell es-Sultan, a site near the West Bank city of Jericho, as a World Heritage site. The ruins date back to the ninth millennium BC.

  • The UN's Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decision was met with backlash from Israel, which parted ways with the organization in 2019. The foreign ministry called the decision a "cynical ploy" and accused the Palestinians of using UNESCO in its politicization efforts.

The Spin

Narrative A

While history and heritage have long existed as a potential catalyst between Israel and Palestine, the nature of the designation of Tell es-Sultan transcends beyond that. There is a rich historical perspective and many stories to be told in the preservation of this site. Palestine is committed to uncovering the history of mankind and sharing it with the world.

Narrative B

Israel took comfort when former US President Trump withdrew from UNESCO in solidarity with the nation. Now that President Biden has taken office and rejoined the agency, Israel must take a stand and face the agency that has become increasingly anti-Israel. The path forward should include Israel rejoining the agency and, instead of fixating on the anti-Israel sentiment and running away, it should work with allies to build a confident coalition to support the needs and requirements of the Jewish people.

Metaculus Prediction

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