‘Jeopardy!’ sparks controversy after naming Jesus’ birthplace site as Israel

Alex Trebek
Alex Trebek has been the host of "Jeopardy" since 1984. |

An answer on "Jeopardy!" has sparked protest from viewers after a contestant was told she was wrong for identifying the location of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as Palestine.

Host Alex Trebek read the $200 clue from the category "Where's that church?" which read, "Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity."

Contestant Katie Needle responded: "What is Palestine?" but the answer was rejected. Contestant Jack McGuire then hit his buzzer and answered, "What is Israel?" which was ruled correct.

The Church of the Nativity is located in Bethlehem, which is part of the West Bank. The popular church is said to be the location of Jesus’ birth. The region has been a site of conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians for some time.

Some “Jeopardy!” viewers immediately took to Twitter in protest and demanded that Trebek and the popular U.S. show apologize.

Political analyst on U.S./Middle East Omar Baddar tweeted a clip of the question and wrote, “Unacceptable!! Bethlehem is in the Palestinian territories which Israel illegally occupies (Katie Needle got the correct answer & was robbed). @Jeopardy owes an apology for endorsing Israel's universally-condemned illegal takeover of Palestinian lands.”


The clip has since gone viral with many arguing on both sides. 

People noted that after the commercial break, however, Needle’s score increased as she may have been credited for the “Palestine” answer, although no explanation was given to viewers.

"Jeopardy!" has not responded to the controversy.

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