Years ago, when I was young and reckless, I backpacked solo through Syria. One morning, at the bus station in Homs, I had to make a spur of the moment decision; I could go west, towards the sea and Lebanon, or I could go east, to the ancient city of Palmyra. I turned west. I never saw Palmyra. The 2000 year old city is now in the hands of ISIS.
Politics is to religion, like oil is to water, they just don't mix. Recently, UNESCO politicized religion by labelling Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity as an endangered world heritage site, despite the fact that the UN's own experts investigating the state of the Church's premises concluded that the building is not in any urgent danger and that PA hype is just hot political air.
This week, history will revisit the Church of the Nativity as UNESCO's World Heritage Committee convenes in St. Petersburg, Russia, to consider whether the birthplace of Jesus should be recognized as a world heritage site. Palestinians await with anticipation the decision in St. Petersburg this week to share this valuable cultural, religious and historical heritage with all the peoples of the world.
So I bet you're wondering post-G20: Is this the impending end of the world--or an opportunity for a cheap holiday in Greece next year? Even the experts can't say which way the global economy will go: If Greece quits the euro and returns to a devalued drachma, will Spain and Italy be forced to follow? Will Canada's "Little Toot" economy continue to chug along resiliently ahead of the U.S.'s sinking steamship? To help us make sense of all this, we welcomed aboard a new Huffpost contributor, EU expert Jeffrey Cimbalo. His latest post declares the G20 an abject failure. Hmm. Don't start googling discount Olympic Air tickets yet.