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Culture

'Jeopardy!' Jeopardizes Facts About Israel

"What is Palestine?" Wrong answer to a botched question on a sensitive topic.

Jordan Candler · Jan. 16, 2020

Even seemingly innocuous game shows like the legendary “Jeopardy!” aren’t immune to social-justice mobs. This much was revealed in a recent episode during which a clue within the “Where’s That Church?” category intimated: “Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity.” You can probably already guess where this is heading. One contestant asserted, “What is Palestine?” In what would be correct refereeing in a rational world, host Alex Trebek rejected the answer. Another contestant subsequently (and correctly) replied, “What is Israel?”

Cue the politically correct outrage. As Variety reports. “The episode prompted a furor online, drawing criticism over its handling of the answer. ‘Unacceptable!! Bethlehem is in the Palestinian territories which Israel illegally occupies,’ tweeted Omar Baddar, deputy director of the Arab American Institute, adding that he believes ‘Jeopardy!’ owed [the initial respondent] an apology ‘for endorsing Israel’s universally-condemned illegal takeover of Palestinian lands.’”

For the record, “Jeopardy!” endeavored to sidestep any potential fallout altogether. In a statement, the game show explained, “In the process of taping this clue … we became aware that the clue was flawed as written and that determining an acceptable response would be problematic. In accordance with our rules and in the interest of fairness, we voided the clue and threw it out.” The statement continued, “We then continued the game with [a] replacement clue. Unfortunately, through human error in post-production, the uncorrected version of the game was broadcast. We regret the error and we will make every effort to ensure this never happens again.”

Though it failed in the end, it’s perhaps understandable that “Jeopardy!” would attempt to prevent any blowback given our tumultuous civic environment. Still, that doesn’t mean the decision to implement a replacement clue wasn’t shortsighted. The plain fact of the matter is that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a city in ancient Judea. We know it today as a city enshrined in the West Bank of central Israel — “Palestine” is not a country. Only those ensconced in revisionist history would argue otherwise.

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