And here is an excerpt from the UNESCO website explaining the importance of protecting significant cultural sites:"This step is part and parcel of our plan to end the (Israeli) occupation and establish a state," said Palestinian Authority Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Khouloud Daibes, presenting a formal submission to the UNESCO heritage committee.
"This is a message of our determination," she told a news conference marking the first Palestinian bid for a place on UNESCO's list, which over the past 40 years has denoted more than 900 sites of "outstanding universal value to humanity."
The bid was discussed at UNESCO headquarters in Paris last week by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who since 2009 has driven a campaign to establish all the attributes and institutions of Palestinian statehood by September this year.
Hamilton offers a cursory mention of the violent confrontation in 2002 between Israeli troops and armed Palestinian militants who had forcibly seized and occupied the Church for a month in an effort to escape arrest. Yet, Hamilton's story fails to convey the irony reflected by the Palestinian Arabs applying for protection and preservation of the sacred and historically significant site in which 250 wanted Palestinian terrorists held 100 people hostage, stole food and gold from the monks, urinated and defected on the church floor, and used Bibles for toilet paper.Considering that the existing international conventions, recommendations and resolutions concerning cultural and natural property demonstrate the importance, for all the peoples of the world, of safeguarding this unique and irreplaceable property, to whatever people it may belong,
Considering that parts of the cultural or natural heritage are of outstanding interest and therefore need to be preserved as part of the world heritage of mankind as a whole,
Considering that, in view of the magnitude and gravity of the new dangers threatening them, it is incumbent on the international community as a whole to participate in the protection of the cultural and natural heritage of outstanding universal value, by the granting of collective assistance which, although not taking the place of action by the State concerned, will serve as an efficient complement thereto,
Somehow, we get the feeling that irony is lost on Hamilton.