Jeopardy! Faces Backlash For Decision On Bethlehem Answer

Jeopardy awards correct answer to Bethlehem being located in Israel not Palestine

Jeopardy! has been enjoying a lot of positive attention and high ratings for "The Greatest of All Time" GOAT tournament, which continues Tuesday, January 14. However, Jeopardy! is also facing backlash from many viewers for its decision on the location of Jesus' place of birth, Bethlehem. Is the answer Palestine or Israel? Yes, the show waded into deep political waters.

Jeopardy! rejected the first contestant's answer of Palestine in favor of Israel. Many fans are upset with that decision, and want an apology from the show and the money given to the player who answered with Palestine.

The round in question played out on the Friday, January 10, 2020 show. The Jeopardy! category was "Where's That Church?" with this clue: "Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity." Katie Needle answered "What is Palestine?" Host Alex Trebek said "No." Jack McGuire buzzed in and said "What is Israel?" Alex replied "That's it."

Well, that was not it to several fans watching at home, or those who later watched a clip from the episode:

See more

The Church of the Nativity is a World Heritage Site located in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank; according to Aljazeera, it's internationally recognized as part of Palestine. However, as Deadline noted, Palestine is not officially recognized as a state by Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and most of the European Union.

Jeopardy!'s choice to reject Palestine as the answer in favor of Israel sparked outrage, although also support for Katie Needle's answer for Palestine:

See more

Some fans are even planning a "Twitter Storm" tonight (January 13) at 7:30 p.m. around the airing of Jeopardy! to protest the decision, per Facebook:

On Friday, on Jeopardy!, Katie Needle correctly answered the clue 'Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity' with 'what is Palestine?' But host Alex Trebek responded 'nope' and gave the points to Jack McGuire who followed up with 'what is Israel?' Join the Twitter storm tonight as Katie Needle reappears on the show as a contestant, join the Twitter storm to to tell Jeopardy! to issue an apology and correction.

Some Jeopardy! fans have been calling out host Alex Trebek, but he's not the one writing the clues or answers. However, we'll have to see if he or anyone on the show addresses the controversy on air.

Could Primetime Jeopardy Become A Regular Thing In TV?

As we wait to see what happens next on Jeopardy!, including the winner of the GOAT tournament, keep up with everything premiering in early 2020 with our handy TV schedule.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.