‘Jeopardy!' Faces Criticism After Wading Into Mideast Conflict

The show appeared to suggest that the Church of Nativity was located in Israel, rejecting an answer that said it was in Palestine

Alex Trebek poses with Jeopardy sign behind him
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

There seemed to be just $200 on the line when “Jeopardy!” contestant Katie Needle buzzed in with the answer “What is Palestine?”

But host Alex Trebek’s response, a decisive “no,” has set off a wave of controversy, NBC News reports.

Friday evening’s clue in the category “Where’s that church?” was: "Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity." After Needle’s answer was rejected, Jack McGuire buzzed in with the reply "What is Israel?” and the $200 was added to his score.

With that, “America’s favorite quiz show” was thrust into the debate surrounding a longstanding geopolitical conflict in the Middle East.

The Church of the Nativity, which Christians believe to be the birthplace of Jesus, is located in Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank. It is controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

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