Under a law dating back to the sixth century emperor Justinian, the government of the Holy Land has the right to approve or disqualify candidates for the office of patriarch.
A quick overview seems to show that many of the sites about this are either pro-Arab, or pro-Israel. But little non-biased reporting. The ones that are pro-Arab do not mentioned tha aforementioned law, and the pro-Israel ones do. Oh well.
Anyone else even care?