The Vatican Seeks to Reclaim its Own –
The Pathway and Players in the Bid to Control Jerusalem
A Study in the Israeli-Vatican Diplomatic Relations that will Lead to the Prophetic Fulfillment of
“On that day, all Nations will seek to Surround Jerusalem”
By Robert D. Mock MD
Zechariah 14:2-4 – “And I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem: the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the saints shall not be cut of from the city.
Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.
Topics for Part Two
Israeli President Moshe Katsav meets Pope Benedict XVI on November 17, 2005
On November 17, 2005, the much anticipated trip by the President of Israel, Moshe Katsav to Rome occurred as Pope Benedict XVI met with him for twenty five minutes in private conference. This visit had been fraught with all the public media attention of the Vatican seeking to take possession of Mount Zion and the Tomb of David. With the Tomb of David being a holy site of Judaism and the House with the Upper Room being a holy site of the Christians, the implications to both Christians and Jews were significant.
As reported on November 17, 2005 in the Jerusalem Post in an article titled, “Pope tells Katsav he will visit Israel” it reported the following:
Jerusalem Post – “The president had welcomed Pope John Paul II when the latter made his historic visit to Jerusalem in 2000. Katsav invited Benedict to Israel at their meeting, and showed him photographs of the ancient church discovered recently at Megiddo. The meeting with the new pope has been fraught with controversy resulting from a report in a Vatican publication that the two would sign an exchange agreement whereby Israel would cede control of the room of the Last Supper to the church in return for a church property in Spain that more than five centuries ago served as a synagogue. Elaborations on the report have appeared in publications around the globe and in cyberspace.
When he was in Israel recently to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Religious Relations with the Jews, said in response to a question from The Jerusalem Post that no agreement would be signed. Katsav professed to know nothing of the matter but, when the rumors persisted, Beit Hanassi issued an official statement declaring that no document would be signed by Katsav and Benedict. Denials notwithstanding, there are skeptics in Israel who claim they were just a cover-up to defuse a sensitive situation.”
This was the first official visit between the Israeli President and the new nominated Pope Benedict XVI. This made President Moshe Katsav the first Israeli President to meet with two Popes, the last being the December 12, 2002 meeting with Pope John Paul II. Highlights of the diplomatic visit included:
· “President Katsav invited the pontiff to visit Israel in the near future, a visit that Ariel Sharon had sent first by letter to the pontiff in July, 2005. This visit was agreed upon by Pope Benedict XVI and may occur in 2006.
· Topics of discussion officially included the “current anti-Semitism in Europe and the status and future of Christian holy sites in Israel.”
· President Katsav spent the weekend with the Jewish community in Milan.
· “On Wednesday, Katsav held talks with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a strong supporter of Israel, and gave a lukewarm reception to Monday’s agreement to open the Rafah crossing. He said that Israel would have preferred to monitor the crossing directly instead of leaving the job to European monitors.
· After talks with Berlusconi, Katsav was scheduled to meet with opposition leaders and members of Rome’s Jewish community.
· The next week, “Katsav is scheduled to have another controversial meeting next week when he meets with Greek President Karolas Popoulias, who is coming to Israel for the official installation of Bishop Theophilous, 53, as Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. Theophilous was unanimously elected by the Greek Orthodox Synod of Jerusalem on August 22 following the ouster in May of Irineos, whose property dealings with Jews cost him his title and his authority. Israel is unwilling to recognize Theophilous, a factor that has caused the Patriarch-designate to appeal to the High Court of Justice. Irineos was also a thorn in Israel’s side. Prior to his election in August 2001, Israel had exerted strenuous efforts to prevent his being voted into office. Popoulias is coming to Israel on what is diplomatically termed a private visit. However, he is due to meet with Katsav on Sunday.”
should be asking, what is the Vatican planning to do with Jerusalem?
The Papal fathers have been the paternal guardians of all
“replacement” theologies within Christendom. This goal is to replace
the chosen people of Israel with the Catholic and any Protestant theology as “the
New Israel.” No matter what denomination you might be a faithful member, if
your church’s religious existence depends upon the premise that you are
“spiritual Israel” and that the Jewish and Israel’s presence at the time
of the end is of no consequence, follow the trail: all pathways lead to Rome.
The final Drama of the Ages centers on the city of Jerusalem according to the Jewish author of the Sefer (Book) of Revelation. Understand that most of the foundational apocalyptic concepts in this book comes from the Book of Enoch, which is an Essene approved sacred manuscript. This fact is known because there were more manuscript fragments of the Book of Enoch in the archives of the Dead Sea Scrolls than any other book in the TaNaKh, the Hebrew Scriptures.
For Christians whose “time of the end” models include both the models of the Hebrew ancient prophets and the Book of Revelation, influenced by the 1st century Essenes, Jerusalem becomes a major literal role in all of these models. In the Book of Revelation, the last great defenders of the city are the “Two Witnesses.” Their death by the final forces of evil that are destined to overcome Jerusalem will assassinate these two guardians of Torah Judaism and Torah Nazareneism. At that moment of time, it states that this city Jerusalem will be symbolically recognized as Sodom and Egypt and will be the literal city where Yahshua haNotzri (Jesus the Nazarene) was killed. Three and one half days before the coming of the messiah, the city of Jerusalem will be surrounded and is in virtual custody of the globalists dream; the Jewish dream of a homeland of peace and the return of a messiah to redeem them is now null and void. This composite model of the Hebrew TaNaKh (Old Testament) and the Brit Hadassah (New Testament) is also compatible with the Sephardi Mekubalim (mystics) that the time of the end will come in God’s own time with harsh reality to all mankind. This is called the B’ito model or harsh and catastrophic End of Times scenario. The B’ito model includes worldwide catastrophes that will affect predominately the gentile world and the Jews that refuse to return to the Land of Israel (aliyah). The B’ito model also includes also the great fight between the forces of evil by Gog and the world-wide coalition forces with the Land of Magog against Israel. Out of this battle, those who do not escape from Jerusalem during the catastrophic earthquake of Zechariah 13 where the Gihon River will erupt from the base of the Mount of the Temple, 2/3rd of these Jewish people in Jerusalem will be killed and a 1/3rd will be tried in the “fires of Hashem. (God of Israel)”
The final drama of the apocalypse of the ages centers on the literal, political and spiritual battles that will surround the Land of Israel. The claim of Rome to be “the New Jerusalem” and the heir to the kingdom of God in the minds of most humans who live and think in a literal world appears to be null and void as long as the Jewish people control the city of Jerusalem. That dream to take control of Jerusalem will come true when the combined forces of: Edom or the King of the North called Gog from the Land of Magog (Western Globalists called the Golden International); the King of the South (Islamic nations along with the Red Internationale and the Kings of the East) that are being pushed to the final climax by the Black Internationale. This “black force” of the “Black Seal” will be the final Jesuit-Vatican’s bid to make Jerusalem their international headquarters. At that time they will finally see their dream come true. The forces of Satan will final succeed to take control of Jerusalem. This place on earth where the God of Israel recognized as His solar rex capital of this solar system and this universe, will finally be conquered and be fully under the power of the Luciferian driven One World Order. Here was the place, where the Almighty One of Israel placed His Shekinah glory, the Malkhut (kingdom) of his Holy Image, the Sefirot as a towering tornado vortex of energy and light.
In the 1840’s, during the Great Awakening in the Americas, the theme of the literal return of Jesus was a revolutionary idea in Christendom where all denominations believed that they were “Spiritual Israel.” Yet in that era, the city of Jerusalem was a forgotten dusty village in the deserts of ancient Roman Palestine that was under the Ottoman Turkish control. When the “dry bones” of Israel rose from the ashes of the Holocaust, the Jewish defenders cast out her benefactors, the British Empire, who had turned traitor against the Jewish people. At that time, the Irgun, the patriot defenders of this infant nation that had barely had given birth, swept away a coalition of Islamic nations. These anti-Semitic allies included the former Nazi allies, the Muslim Brotherhood who were being paid by British and American intelligence services.
The Pathway of the Vatican to Obtain Hegemony over the Holy Sites in Jerusalem
The Vatican in Rome has laid a meticulous and deliberate path in their attempt to gain political and religious control of the city of Jerusalem. Let us first look at this pathway of the Vatican over the past fifteen years and see where it leads. Through the eyes of the Jewish journalist, Joel Bainerman, who wrote this article three years ago in 2002 titled, “The Vatican Agenda,” we read his observations.
Joel Bainerman – The institution of “The Vatican” is not understood by Israelis and Jews. The conventional wisdom you get from the spokespersons in Israeli government ministries and the conventional Israeli media is “both sides have great intentions to do good” and that’s about it. When it comes to Israel’s bi-lateral affairs, nothing much gets investigated by the Israeli media. Thus a secret deal could be done between the Vatican and the State of Israel and nobody in Israel would ever find out about it…
can’t be that the Vatican is only interested in “access to their Holy Sites” in
Jerusalem. They already have that as well as legal jurisdiction under Israeli
law for their institutions and assets in Jerusalem. Also, when these “Holy
Sites” were under the jurisdiction of the Jordanians from l948-l967, no Pope
demanded the “internationalization of Jerusalem”.
It is something else, which the Vatican wants. The Roman Catholic Church, need to have certain versions of events be played out for them to stand in front of mankind and proclaim: our Messiah has returned.” Of course, to the Jews, this Messiah will be as false as the first one was supposed to be. Don’t matter. This is the goal of the Vatican and this is what all Israelis need to worry about.
The Vatican/Roman Catholic’s version of events is this:
They know this isn’t the end of the story that the Jewish G-d had in mind, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try and engineer their own ending to the story. So what if it is fraudulent. Doesn’t matter, that is their game plan and that is what matters and that is what Israeli Jews need to be better informed about. It is important for everyone to know what The Vatican have up its sleeve because it directly relates to our existence and our future destiny as an independent nation. This a very powerful force this is scheming to get control of the Old City of Jerusalem so you better know why and how the Vatican intends to do this. Once you have all the facts and the chronological record you will be better informed deal with this issue and of foreign control over Israel’s political existence and destiny.
First, you have to realize that for centuries The Vatican has attempted to obtain control of Jerusalem, which started with the Crusades. For them to convince the world that the Messiah they put on the world’s stage is going to be accepted as genuine, they need to perform this play in the Old City. The story of this production is that this “Messiah” will merge the three monotheistic religions, usher in peace and harmony in the world, and solve the Middle East conflict. The location for this “production” will be in none other than the Old City of Jerusalem.
This so-called “Messiah” that will be proclaimed, will be a false one and it will insist that by having a “world government” (i.e., the United Nations) the world peace and harmony will be ushered in. This will be a lie, and a fraud, but never mind. In our world, reality isn’t important. Public perceptions are. The end result is the stripping of Israel’s sovereignty as an independent nation giving way to a “regional bloc of nations” in the Middle East. Israel will be pressured to accede to these demands by all world bodies and the superpowers on the claim that “this is the only way to solve the Middle East conflict. In order for the Jews to go along they will convince them that with the “Messiah” having appeared for the Jews, it is time to start rebuilding the Third Temple- what they call “Solomon’s Temple”. This version of events is widely available through a simple search on the Internet as there are many Christian groups and organizations (the majority of which who are very pro-Israel) who don’t buy into these beliefs and thus are against them. I didn’t come up with the theory- I am just brining it to the attention of the Israeli public.
Make no mistake about it. The Old City of Jerusalem, as well as most of the eastern half of the city, is what The Vatican is after. Why?
Because controlling the entire Old City of Jerusalem (and not just Church properties) and being able to build whatever they want on Mount Zion is critical for the program they have planned to put into play in our capital city. The deal that it has signed with Israel via Yossi Beilin and Shimon Peres (in secret and without the approval of the Knesset) gives The Church not only extraterritorial status to their properties (which is what the bi-lateral agreement the Israeli government signed with the Vatican on December 30th, 1993, put in law) but of control over the entire city as “custodians” under UN presence. In this way the Jews will give up control over the Old City. To the Vatican the Israeli people would have a problem with. To the UN, they would say, “we had no choice”.
It was in the Jerusalem Post on July 8, 2002 that the following chronology was printed and preserved by Joel Bainerman in the “The Vatican Agenda.”
A Chronology Of The Attempt By The Vatican To Displace Israel From The Old City Of Jerusalem
“Chronology of Events” for the Vatican’s conquest of the Old City of Jerusalem is as follows- all of which can be
verified via the sources of the information:
1991 – On October
12th, the head of the World Jewish Congress, Edgar Bronfman,
is appointed head of the International Jewish Committee of Inter-religious
Consultation to conduct officials contacts with The Vatican and the State of
March 1992 – On March 17th, Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek says: “The Israeli government should meet the Vatican’s demand to apply special status for Jerusalem.”
April 1992 – On April 1st, The Vatican announced that it “favors a Labor victory” in the June 1992 general elections in Israel. On April 15th, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, one of the highest ranking diplomats at The Vatican, visits Israel for the first time but only meets with Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek.
June 1992 – The story of The Catholic Church’s attempt to abscond with the Old City of Jerusalem from the Jews begins in July 1992. According to the information on the Foreign Ministry website, literally from the moment the new Rabin-led Labor government took over from Yitzhak Shamir’s defeated Likud party, secret talks with the Vatican and the State of Israel began. What precipitated these secret talks? Who arranged these talks, and why? Why were they kept secret from the Israeli public? What was the end result of these agreements? Where do they stand today? The entire subject of Israel’s bi-lateral relations with the Vatican is intentionally kept locked away in secrecy. It is no wonder that nobody in Israel knows much about “Israel-Vatican relations” as it is never, ever reported on in the Israeli press.
The official story of the origins of Israel’s “secret channel contacts” between Beilin’s negotiating team and the Vatican comes about as a result of Shlomo Gur, a personal aide to Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin, who knew someone who put him in touch with Father David Jaeger. Father David Jaeger was president of the Catholic Court in Austin, Texas, and was brought up as an Israeli orthodox Jew who then converted to Catholicism and became a Father (not something that has happened to many Israelis who grew up Orthodox). From there, which according to the information on the Israel Foreign Ministry website was in July 1992 right after the new Rabin government took over power, nothing is known about the discussions until the agreement is signed on Dec. 30th, 1993. Nothing in the Israeli press. The info given on the actual agreement signed was very minimal and general in tone. This is probably one of the most important political contacts Israel has in the world’s “power structure” yet it isn’t reported on in the press. Thus no Israelis know about it. That is how it remains hidden.
November, l992 – The document which was used as the underlying ideological basis for the Vatican’s secret deal with Yossi Beilin and Shimon Peres was personally authored by Beilin. “The Illegitimacy of Israeli Sovereignty Over Jerusalem” outlines the Israeli government’s program for the future of Jerusalem and calls for the division of the Old City into cantons whose border posts will be under UN control.
The plan which led to the December, 1993 agreement between The Vatican and the State of Israel was originally discussed in November 1992 at the exact same time the first meetings in London took place to discuss an agreement between Israel and the PLO which led to the Oslo Agreements. The real goal was the Vatican attempt to take over the Old City of Jerusalem. Oslo, or, “peace between Israel and the Palestinians” was just a good cover story to hide what was really going on in another sphere of Israel’s foreign affairs.
September, 1993 – On the 10th of September, just three days before the signing of the Oslo Accords in Washington, the Italian newspaper La Stampa reported that then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres concluded a secret deal with the Vatican to hand over sovereignty of Jerusalem’s Old City to the Vatican. The agreement and it was included in the secret clauses of the Declaration Of Principles signed on September 13th, 1993 in Washington, DC.
In the same week that Israeli Foreign Minister and chief Oslo architect Shimon Peres signed the Declaration of Principles with Yasser Arafat in Washington, the Israel-Vatican commission held a special meeting in Israel. Under the Vatican agreement the Israelis would give over control of the Old City to the Vatican before the year 2000. The plan also calls for Jerusalem to become the second Vatican of the world with all three major religions represented but under the authority of the Vatican. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel but the Old City will be administered by the Vatican.
Arafat agreed to the plan just before the famous “handshake” in 1993, but when he realized that the Vatican was also going to let Israel share in the temple mount, he rejected it. To get Arafat and the Palestinians “on board”, on February 14th, 2000, the PA did sign an agreement with the Vatican which recognized the Palestinians’ claims to East Jerusalem. The outbreak of the “Al Asqa Intifada” seven months after this agreement was signed may have been part of the commitment Arafat gave the Vatican as to what he would do for them in return for the Vatican acknowledging Palestinians claims to East Jerusalem and the right to statehood.
in the Middle East serves the Catholic Church’s interest especially if Jerusalem is the subject to discuss. By Arafat getting guarantees from the Vatican that no matter what he does the Europeans will not abandon him, then it makes sense for
him to declare war on Israel in Sept 2000. That “Barak
gave him everything at Camp David” is propaganda. Nothing was
offered that the Knesset would have approved. The intifada could only have
happened if Arafat had gotten assurances from major European powers that he
would survive. The agreement on Feb 2000 would have made more sense if it had
occurred three or four years previous. However its timing when it was makes the
Sept 2000 intifada seem logical from Arafat’s perspective.
November 1993 – In a report in the Jerusalem weekly newspaper Kol Ha’ir, it was revealed that: “for the past six months, the Israeli government has been taking advice on the future of Jerusalem from a planning commission headed by a close aide of Teddy Kollek, Raanan Weitz, formerly the settlement director of the Jewish Agency. At a secret meeting on September 9, 1993, one day before Prime Minister Rabin signed the recognition agreement with the PLO in Israel, the forum met secretly and approved in principle a plan for Jerusalem concocted by Weitz, which he calls, “Metropolitan Jerusalem.”
December, 1993 – With absolutely no media coverage in Israel, on December 30th a “historic agreement with the Vatican” is publicly acknowledged. Called: “The Fundamental Agreement Between The Holy See and The State of Israel”, it declares:
Fundamental Agreement – “Mindful of the singular character and universal significance of the Holy Land. Aware of the unique nature of the relationship between the Catholic Church
and the Jewish people, and of the historic process of reconciliation and
growth in mutual understanding and friendship between Catholics and
Jews;…”Having decided on 29 July 1992 to establish a ‘Bilateral Permanent
Working Commission’, in order to study and define together issues of common
interest, and in view of normalizing their relations.”
within one month of taking power there was a special committee to further
“Israeli-Vatican Relations”. From where did this initiative come so soon as
the new government took office?
April 1994 – Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Shmuel Meir announces at a Jerusalem press conference that he had received information that properties promised to the Vatican in Jerusalem would be granted extraterritorial status. (In early 1996 Meir was killed in a very suspicious car crash whereby the driver who drove a UN truck into Meir’s car was not even charged.)
May 1994 – Marek Halter, a French intellectual/philosopher and a close friend of Peres, tells the Israeli weekly magazine HaShishi that he personally delivered a letter from Peres to the Pope in Sept, 1993 in which Peres promised to internationalize Jerusalem, granting the UN political control of the Old City of Jerusalem, and the Vatican hegemony of the holy sites within. The UN would give the PLO a capital within its new territory and East Jerusalem would become a kind of free trade zone of world diplomacy.
June 1994 – On June 15th, the Israeli government signs an agreement with The Vatican allowing the Catholic Church to participate in negotiations to determine the future of Jerusalem.
July, 1994 – On July 9th, 1994, the Vatican’s Foreign Minister, Jean-Louis Tauran, announces in Amman, Jordan: “Before territorial problems are resolved, we have to find international guarantees to safeguard the uniqueness of the city and assurances that never again would one party claim Jerusalem as its possession.”
November l994 – Israel signs a peace treaty with Jordan which, according to reports in Haaretz, Maariv, and Yediot Achronot, included secret clauses concerning water and Jerusalem. The agreement had been negotiated in London eight months before between Rabin, King Hussein, and Lord Victor Mishcon. As part of the agreement, Jordan would receive control over the Islamic Holy sites within a Vatican-controlled Old City of Jerusalem.
March 1995 – A cable from the Israeli Embassy in Rome to The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem was leaked to radio station Arutz Sheva, confirming the handover of Jerusalem to the Vatican. Two days later the cable made front page of Haaretz. In the widely distributed minutes of a meeting with President Clinton in 1997, Peres ended the cable with the words, “as I had previously promised the Holy See.”
April 1995 – A Member of Knesset, MK Avraham Shapira announced in the Knesset that he had information that all Vatican property in Jerusalem was to become tax exempt and that large tracts of real estate on Mount Zion were given to the Pope in perpetuity. (for eternity)
February l996 – A delegation from the Vatican met in Jerusalem with Palestinian Authority Religious Affairs Minister, Hassan Tahbob. Father Serge Sebastian, Secretary General of the Vatican, announced that the Holy See recognizes Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem. After Shimon Peres had replaced Yitzhak Rabin as Israel’s prime minister, Internal Security Minister Moshe Shachal refused to allow a Palestinian Authority meeting at the Vatican’s Notre Dame Hospice in Jerusalem. According to Shachal, the Palestinians were planning to “use The Vatican to circumvent the Oslo Accords.”
November, 1997 – On November 10th, the State of Israel and the Vatican sign the “Legal Personality Agreement” whereby the State of Israel agrees to “assure full effect law to the legal personality of the Catholic Church itself.” (What that means in plain English is anyone’s guess.)
February 2000 – Hedging its bets by having bi-lateral agreements with both sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict, on February 14th, Pope John Paul 11 meets Arafat in Rome to sign an accord to normalize relations between Roman Catholic churches in Jerusalem and PA (Palestine Authority). Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Ahmed Qurei told The Jerusalem Post that the agreement is “recognition by the Catholic Church of the Palestinian claims to the eastern half of Jerusalem.” According to Arafat’s spokesperson, Nabil Abu Romaine, “Arafat had been lobbying for the idea of sharing undivided Jerusalem, and for creating a Vatican-style sovereignty in the Old City.” (Somehow we are supposed to believe that Arafat initiated this, and not the Vatican). The agreement calls for Jerusalem to be “an international city based on international resolutions and an international guarantee.” The pack was signed despite the Vatican having signed an agreement with Israel six years earlier on December 30th, 1993 which gave legal jurisdiction under Israeli law over the Church’s own institutions and assets in the Holy Land.
March 2000 – The Pope visits the Holy Land and repeats the Holy See’s insistence that “international oversight- ‘a special statute, internationally guaranteed’- would best safeguard the city’s holy sites and all its religions. The city of Jerusalem is the main obstacle to peace in the region.”
On March 27th, the Palestinian Authority says that The Vatican no longer insists on international status for the Old City of Jerusalem, and that the Vatican accepts the political division of the Old City between Israel and the Palestinians. (One has to wonder if this agreement had anything to do with Arafat’s decision to wage war on Israel six months later?)
October 2000 – In a speech to the United Nations on October 30th, Archbishop Renato Martino declared: “The “unique character” of Jerusalem as a city sacred to three great religions makes it essential that religious leaders, not politicians, control the holy sites.” In his meeting on October 26th with Lebanese Ambassador to the Vatican, Fouad Aoun, Pope John Paul 11 said that the city of Jerusalem should be given “specially guaranteed international status.”
January 2001 – Israel TV journalists secretly film under the Shrine Of Omar, the 7th century Islamic building which may have been deliberately constructed over the Holy of Holies, their most sacred prayer room of the ancient Jewish Temple. The video revealed a new and massive tunnel aimed directly at the most sacred core of Solomon’s and later, Herod’s Temples. During the Crusades the early 12th century chivalric order, The Knights Templer, dug under the ruins for nine years and found a network of tunnels where the Jewish priests hid their treasures from the marauding Romans in 70 CE. It was also assumed that the original records of the Jerusalem Church which proved that the Vatican was not practicing Christianity as its founders had intended, was buried in this spot. A pope with exclusive rights of divine interpretation was not part of G-d’s plan. If these scrolls were made public they would jeopardize Rome’s legitimacy. Thus it is imperative to The Vatican that the Jews be removed from the Temple Mount so that they don’t find these important scrolls. The PA (Palestinian Authority) is serving as the Vatican’s “building contractors” in this arrangement in the hope that the Vatican will side with the Palestinians in the conflict with Israel.
July 2002 – Israeli, US and German delegations at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Berlin have to fight a surprise proposal to internationalize Jerusalem’s Old City by the Italian delegation to the meeting. The head of the Italian delegation told Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the US-based Simon Weisenthal Center that the main concern of the Italian government was that “in the future when there are peace discussions, the Palestinian entity will be given control of the Christian Holy sites.”
Why the secular government of Italy should be worried about this was not explained in the new item. (The Jerusalem Post, July 8th, 2002)
The Secret Negotiations between the Vatican, Israel and the Palestinians
An independent Jewish investigative journalist, Yonatan Levy, wrote an article before the election of Arial Sharon titled, “Who Stole Israel's Democracy?”
Reporter Yonatan Levy – “The Israeli people haven't taken much notice but there have been many secret deals made in the name of "the peace process." Secrecy has become the hallmark of the current government's diplomacy, concealing many of the commitments it has given to the PLO, the U.S., Jordan, and Syria. The people of Israel must wake and realize that its government is making commitments to the Arabs and the U.S. before they are presented to the Israeli public. One of the best reasons to keep diplomacy secret is that if it is secret and nobody knows about it, it can't be criticized.
By the way, if anyone is counting, here are the secret deals which Rabin, Peres, Beilin, Shahal, Barak, Sarid and Ramon have concocted:
June 1991 - Yossi Beilin delivers a letter from Shimon Peres to PLO leaders in Cairo. Peres promises Arafat withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza and a Palestinian state in return for using his influence to recruit Israeli Arab voters to vote for the Labor Party or its allies in next year's general elections. Arafat accepts the offer.
November l992 - Rabin and Beilin begin secret and illegal talks with the PLO's Abu Ala in London under the auspices of the U.S. government. These, not the cover story of Ron Pundak and Yair Hirshfeld's chance meeting with PLO officials in Oslo, lead to the Oslo talks.
March l993 - Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin authors a document called "The Palestine Interim Self-Government Agreement." The secret clauses of the agreement describe how the government will disarm West Bank settlers and force them to evacuate the settlements, and how a reduction of an IDF presence of the roads leading to their homes will be diminished which will cause the more passive residents to panic and sell their homes and flee. One section of Beilin's plan permitted Jews to be extradite to the Palestinian authority. In another section of the document, entitled "The Illegitimacy of Israeli Sovereignty Over Jerusalem" Israel agrees to the division of the Old City into cantons under UN control.
September l993 - A few days before Rabin signs the recognition agreement with the PLO at a secret meeting on September 9th, a plan drawn called Metropolitan Jerusalem drawn up by former Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek's Jerusalem Forum which calls for the division of the Old City into separate districts and recognition of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital is approved by Rabin.
January l994 - Soon to be American Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk mediates between Rabin and Assad. Rabin agrees to a complete withdrawal from the Golan. Among the Israeli concessions are an elimination of its nuclear program and a Syrian military base on Israeli soil. In May l994 the Russian government information agency, RIA, wrote that "secret talks are talking place between Israel and the U.S. whose aim is the immediate breakup of settlements in the Golan."
May l994 - French intellectual Mark Halter in the weekly Israeli newspaper Shishi reveals the existence of an official proposal from Shimon Peres offering the Vatican sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem. According to the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Peres first made the offer in September 10th, l993, three days before Rabin met Arafat in Washington. Arafat signed the Oslo Accords on condition that he accepted the plan.
November l994 - Israel signs a peace treaty with Jordan with secret clauses concerning water and Jerusalem. The agreement had been negotiated in London eight months before between Rabin, Hussein, and Lord Victor Mishcon, an attorney who represents much of British royalty as well as King Hussein. As part of the agreement Jordan would receive control over the Islamic Holy sites within a Vatican-controlled Old City.
January 1995 - In Johannesburg Arafat admits that Peres secretly sent a letter to the Norwegian Foreign Minister promising him control over political organizations in Jerusalem. This deal was consummated in Bucharest in a secret meeting between Peres and Arafat in late l994. Secret diplomacy and agreements run counter to the basic tenets of a democratic state. If agreements are made in secret and concessions granted without the knowledge of the Israeli people, then the public is being deceived.
The most ironic part of this whole sordid nightmare is watching Peres, Beilin, Ramon, Sarid, Barak, and Shahal pointing their fingers at honorable rabbis, Zu Artzenu leaders, and people like Shmuel Crytron and declaring these people as grave threats to Israeli democracy. By whose definition? How did Labor get away with stealing the right away from the Israeli people to disagree with their elected government? Why does the Labor government insist on brutalizing (according to Haim Ramon's statement on Nightline, to crush) sectors of the Israeli political spectrum whose only crime is opposing government policy? What they did was manipulate the perceptions of the public into thinking that these people are "threats to Israeli democracy." All those who oppose government policy are deemed radicals and extremist. They were able to do this by manipulating the perceptions of the people. Labor introduced "media manipulation" and "disinformation" into the political arena. This was never done before in Israel.
Jews in Israel never, ever, viewed their government as the enemy. This all changed when Rabin took power. This change, which is recognized in the Diaspora more than it is even in Israel, is because three years ago the Israeli government took the Israeli public down a dangerous path driven not by the Israeli leadership but by foreigners. It is an evil pact concocted by evil man who don't have the best interests of the state of Israel as their primary motive. Because it is so evil it had to remain secret. This is why there has been so many secret deals made in the past few years… Throughout Israel's short history the Israeli people always believed it had a responsibility to fight and to die if necessary to protect Israel from its enemies. Are we not prepared to do the same if the enemies come from within our midst? Today our foremost enemy is our own government- the Labor party. They are bad Jews, Jews corrupted by evil people. If Peres and his junta is allowed to continue in their horrifying plan of handing our country over to our enemies and terrorize and brutalize their own people into silence in order to protect that plan, and we do absolutely nothing about it, then we are not acting as responsible Jews and patriotic Israelis.”
Whereas the political parties have changed, morphed and keeping changing now with the introduction of the Katima Party when Ariel Sharon and Shimon Peres were again working side by side, the secrecy of the Jewish national governments continues. In spite of the lack of news concerning the meeting of President Katsav with Pope Benedict XVI, the process of Romanizing the Jewish land of Israel continues.
On January 4, 2006, the Jewish Newswire headlines an article titled, “Vatican muscling in on Jerusalem” that started off with this headline, “Jews cannot be trusted with ownership of their ancient capital.” As stated by Stan Goodenough:
Jewish Newswire – “The Roman Catholic Church says the Jewish state cannot be trusted to exercise control over the city of Jerusalem – ancient and eternal capital of the people of Israel. In a statement whose arrogance and contempt he seemingly could not see, the Vatican’s legal advisor in Israel, David Jaeger, told an international conference in Haifa Tuesday that Jerusalem was too important a city to leave in the hands of either “Palestinians” or Jews. Jaeger’s view was that the status of Jerusalem required the approval of the international community as a whole.
Ironically the Vatican, which claims to be spiritual home to one billion of the world’s Christians, rejects the biblical stipulation granting everlasting possession of ancient Canaan, inclusive of Jerusalem, to the Jewish people. Since 1947 it has sought to have Jerusalem internationalized, confident that with Rome’s massive global constituency the pope will be able to exercise substantial control over the city.
Jaeger is historically on solid ground when he says the Palestinian Arabs should have no say over Jerusalem. The city has never been an Arab capital and the “Palestinians” have no historic or national rights to it (or to any other part of Israel’s biblical homeland).
The Jews, by contrast, have venerated the city as their holiest site for over 3000 years. Israel is the only nation that has ever had Jerusalem as its capital. During centuries of exile, Jews everywhere prayed daily to return to Jerusalem in order to be able to once again worship their God in this place. Jerusalem is described in the New Testament as the “City of the great King,” referring to Jesus of Nazareth who also bears the title King of the Jews. The book of Revelation, foretelling Jesus’ return to Jerusalem, calls Him the Lion of the Tribe of Judah – i.e. He remains Jewish.
In recent history, it has only been while under Jewish administration that Jerusalem has flourished and that protected access to all of its holy places (including Christian and Muslim sites) has been guaranteed. Between 1949 and 1967, when the Arab kingdom of Jordan occupied the eastern part of the city, the rights of Jews and Christians to visit their holy places was restricted, sometimes denied. The Jewish Quarter of the Old City was left to rot, its synagogues sacked and burned.
Despite this, the Vatican believes it should have a say that could deny the right of the Jewish people to keep their beloved capital in their hands.”
Who then is this Vatican envoy and legal advisor, David Jaeger? Would it surprise us to learn that the Franciscan Father, David-Maria A. Jaeger, a member of the Delegation of the Holy See on the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel, is Jewish?
Born of Jewish parents in Tel Aviv, Father Jaeger converted to Christian Catholicism and became a Catholic priest in 1986. A distinguished canon lawyer and professor of canon law at the Pontifical Athenaeum Antonianum in Rome, he is credited with being the drafter and the principle negotiator of the “Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and Israel that took effect in 1994.” His primary responsibility with the Holy See is to be the spokesperson and director for the Franciscans in their governance of the Christian holy sites in and around the environs of Jerusalem.
In an article titled, “Time to Call off the Dialogue?”, written in the Our Sunday Visitor, the National Catholic Weekly on September 12, 1999, Father Jaeger spoke at a papal briefing in 1999 called the “Prospects for the New Millennium: Changing Attitudes Towards Jews and Israel” at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Father Jaeger called upon the Jewish community to “combat hurtful stereotypes, hostile prejudices and all manners of hate speech” against Catholics, especially “the recurring defamation, a sort of ‘blood libel,’ “ of Pope Pius XII, who is sometimes accused of inaction during the Holocaust of World War II. He also referred to the witness of St. Edith Stein, a Jewish convert to Catholicism who died at Auschwitz, as a “luminous sign of a transcendent solidarity” during the Holocaust. As he stated:
Father Jaeger – ‘I have pleaded — I have begged, emotionally — my friends on the Jewish side to desist, to rethink their approach, because the continuation of these aggressive prosecutorial behaviors and statements are really creating a tremendous amount of resentment, mostly among those who have been most committed to the Jewish-Catholic dialogue.
I beg them again to rethink this approach and come up with a recognition of what has been achieved and that we are now standing together, that we are now called to bear witness together to the world, to bear witness together to our shared values, which I have called in my address “biblical humanism.” It’s not us facing each other anymore, mostly; it’s us together facing the world and bearing witness to the revelation that God has entrusted to us.
This was the same Reverend David Jaeger, the spokesman for the Holy Land Franciscan Order, who in April 2002 had one of his monasteries to be inhabited by 200 or more Palestinian gunmen and stated, “this is not a hostage situation; we offered
(the Palestinians) sanctuary.”
Yet at the same time, other Vatican sources stated more succinctly that the Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity had its locks shot off the monastery’s doors and were holding the priests and nuns as “human shields.” Noting that the Palestinian gunmen did not take sanctuary in the Greek Orthodox or Armenian sectors of the basilica, they understood the political implications that only the Roman Catholic Church had the international diplomatic strength to prevent an Israeli assault.
As documented in the National Review article called, “Held Up in Bethlehem – What’s really going on inside the Church of the Nativity” on April 9, 2002, the informed observation of Vatican diplomacy has noted that they have long favored the Palestinians over the Israelis. In the current intifada, there appeared to be “overwhelming sentiment” by the Vatican hierarchy to be seen as pro-Palestinian. In this diplomatic standoff at Bethlehem, this observation was noted:
National Review – “But if these gunmen are indeed holding priests and nuns at gunpoint, what reason would the Vatican have for engaging in diplomatic doublespeak? Why not denounce those who violated the holy site and kidnapped friars and nuns? The answer is to bring international pressure on the Israelis to prevent their troops from storming the place, which would likely result in great bloodshed and damage to the holy site. Says Fr. Jaeger, who insists that the Franciscan friars are staying in their monastery by choice, “As long as the [Israeli] army says it’s a hostage situation, the army can say any move against the church is a police action to rescue hostages, not an act of war…
That’s Israel’s dilemma in Bethlehem. It is unlikely that the Israelis would take the extreme risk of storming the basilica to capture the terrorists; dead priests and a devastated basilica could inflame Western opinion… There should be no doubt that if, in a post-Arafat world, Hamas, or other Islamist fanatics were to gain control over the Nativity church or other Christian holy sites, those ancient places would likely face the same fate as the giant Bamiyan Buddha statues in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
‘One of the stories that is never told is the intimidation that Christians in Bethlehem have felt in past few years at hands of Islamists and the PLO,” says Aikman. “A lot of Christians in that area, though they’re too terrified to say it publicly, far from being upset with the Israelis, are more resentful of the heavy hand of the PLO.’”
One year later on May 2, 2003, journalist John L Allen JR with NCR held a private interview with the outgoing Israeli Ambassador Yosef Neville Lamdan in preparation for the arrival of the new Ambassador Oded Ben-Hur. In the article titled, “Farewell interview with Israel’s ambassador to the Holy See; Meeting the focolarini; The origins of cappucino; apostle of mass communications beatified,” Lamdan made several interesting observations.
Observations by Israeli Ambassador Yosef Neville Lamdan – “First, during a 39-day standoff between Palestinian gunmen and the Israeli army over the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in 2002, the Israelis and the Vatican had agreed on a dramatic initiative for retired Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, a frequent papal trouble-shooter. The aim was to get innocents inside the church out of harm’s way. The initiative was blocked, Lamdan said, by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who Lamdan believes wanted to drag out the conflict in order to pressure Israel to free up his movements around his headquarters in Ramallah.
Second, Lamdan revealed that when Israeli President Moshe Katsav met with Pope John Paul II on Dec. 12, 2002, the pope gave the president a private vow that he wanted 2003 to mark a “turning point” in the Israeli/Vatican relationship. It was a commitment that surprised even the pope’s own lieutenants, he said. Since that exchange, Lamdan said, there have been clear signs of new Vatican engagement.
In a fascinating bit of analysis, Lamdan also said he believes that under the pressure of recent world events, including 9/11 and the Iraq war, the Catholic Church’s primary inter-religious relationship is increasingly no longer Judaism but Islam. It is a situation, he said, that could pose dangers both for Israel and for the broader Catholic/Jewish dialogue.
Lamdan’s remarks concerning the most distressing moments of this diplomatic tenure were the days when Palestinian militant fled inside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on April 2, 2002, During this time the Israeli forces were seeking to root out the militants out of this part of the West Bank.
The lack of diplomatic expertise on the part of the Vatican was quite apparent and the ambassador’s remarks on the political and diplomatic negotiations by the Vatican were most revealing. These diplomatic efforts “were muddied by a cacophony of voices on the Catholic side, many singing different tunes. Chief among them, Lamdan said, were the Franciscans, among whom he said the Israelis eventually identified five different factions. They were: Arab Franciscans inside the church; Non-Arab Franciscans inside the church; the Franciscan custodians of the Holy Sites, with offices in Jerusalem; Franciscans in Assisi, who led a worldwide letter-writing campaign to pressure the Israelis; the headquarters of the Franciscan order in Rome.
Concerning the Franciscan custodians, especially spokesperson Franciscan Father David Jaeger, the ambassador thought was “thoroughly unhelpful.” It was the Franciscan David Jaeger who sought to get the Israel’s high court to force the Israeli army to restore electricity, water, food and telephone communication to the basilica. This was a failed diplomatic attempt. On the other hand, the Latin Rite Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michele Sabbah, was also “unhelpful” for proclaiming to the international press that the Palestinians were “guests” of the church, denying they were holding anyone against their will.
At one point the “discordant voices within the Holy See” appeared to assume control. The L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, routinely called the standoff as an Israeli “siege,” and made the accusations that the “Israelis of trying to “exterminate” the Palestinian people.” The ambassador continued by stating that the “paper falsely reported that the Israelis had killed a Catholic priest and injured a group of Brigittine nuns.” In all the official organ of the Catholic Church continued to run photos “Israeli soldiers ‘in the worst possible light,’”
These examples illustrated “the limits of Vatican diplomacy,” and exposed the fact that they had “no influence whatsoever.” Why? “Moral authority, he argued, had no sway over gunmen with “no respect for religious sensitivities.’”
Part of the difficulties was the “sea change in the Vatican’s inter-religious priorities in the direction of Islam.” Lamdan felt that “in some corporate way some type of decision, possibly a strategic one, has been taken by the Vatican in the last two years to try to redefine the relationship with Islam.” As such the Catholic Church in 2002 was one of “politicization.” Here was the stark tendency for the “Catholic Church to take ‘pro-Islamic’ political positions” and overshadow the “Catholic dialogue with Judaism.”
Overall the retiring ambassador claimed that “John Paul has been a revolutionary pope vis-à-vis the Jews, and a very positive pope with regard to the State of Israel,” and that he “treasures” the ties between Israel and the Holy See. In closing, Ambassador Lamdan stated, “The relationship is still young, Israel is still discovering the Vatican. I’m sure the Vatican is still grappling with the notion of a Jewish state in the Holy Land. … But this will be a long-standing relationship, and it will not be stopped.”
In parting, Ambassador Lamdan made one additional observation when in January 12, 2002, Israeli President Moshe Katsav flew from Jerusalem to meet with Pope John Paul II. During the conversation, Katsav made the observation to the Pontiff that the 10th anniversary when the Vatican and the Nation of Israel signed diplomatic relations between each other was soon to occur. In perfectly frank language, Katsav told the Pope that “if things didn’t improve, there was a danger the commitment on both sides would ‘wither away.’” John Paul II in quick response stated that it was his desire that 2003 would be a “turning point” in the relationship” between the two powers. This “turning point” statement was a shock to the Vatican Secretary of State Angelo Sodano. He later inquired of the Pope the real meaning of his statement and it was affirmed and sent throughout the diplomatic channels, the “pope had indeed meant it – 2003 was to be a turning point.”
The High Level Negotiations between the Vatican and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel
As the 37 year career diplomat of the Israeli government, Israeli Ambassador Yosef Neville Lamdan was leaving Rome; he stated that time that these years were “the most challenging mission in my 37 years as a career diplomat.” There at the Embassy residence for the ambassador in Rome’s Parioli neighborhood, he reminisced on his arrival to Rome in September 2000 only five months after Pope John Paul’s March 21-26, 2000 visit to the Holy Land. The ecumenical hope that were flourishing at that time were suddenly cast into “a deep freeze” when Ariel Sharon ascended to the Temple Mount on Rosh Hashanah 2000 and Arafat started the Second Palestinian Intifada.
Not being just a political diplomat, the most senior representative of the Jewish people and their government living in Rome, he became the conduit for the inter-faith interchange as the Jewish “embassy played a behind-the-scenes role in engineering an unprecedented dialogue between the Vatican and the Chief Rabbinate of Jerusalem.
This Joint Commission was held in Jerusalem and the delegation was later hosted by the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Rabbi Yona Metzger. As they stated, “they were deeply moved by this historic meeting and Declaration, which serves, they said, as a testimony of the Divine power of reconciliation, peace and mutual respect that can and will overcome the violence and hatred that abounds in so many places in the world today. Here is the Declaration:
1. After two meetings, in Jerusalem (June 2002, Tammuz 5762) and in Grottaferrata/Rome (February 2003, Shvat 5763), the respective high ranking delegations convened in Jerusalem to discuss the theme of “The Relevance of Central Teachings In the Holy Scriptures Which We Share for Contemporary Society and the Education of Future Generations Accordingly.”
2. The deliberations took place in an atmosphere of mutual respect and amity, and satisfaction was expressed regarding the firm foundations that have already been established between the two delegations, with great promise for continuity and effective collaboration.
3. The participants expressed their profound appreciation for the forthright statements emanating from the Holy See condemning violence against innocents and denouncing the current resurgent manifestations of antisemitism, as declared in the statements of the Cardinals of the Vatican's delegation to the Joint Commission, Cardinals WaIter Kasper, Jorge Mejia and Georges Cottier. In this spirit, His Eminence Jorge Mejia wrote to the Chief Rabbis of Israel: "It is indeed not only cruel but vile and quite incompatible with any acceptable human standards to attack people in their places of prayer." Indeed, at the time of the Joint Commission's meeting, His Holiness Pope John Paul II issued a powerful appeal "to all men and women of good will to join your voices with mine as I repeat that the holy name of God must never be used to incite violence or terrorism, to promote hatred or exclusion."
4. The presentations focused on the foundational teaching in the Holy Scriptures which we share, which declare the faith in the One Creator and Guide of the Universe who has formed all human beings in His Divine Image with free will. Humankind is thus one family, with moral responsibility for one another. Awareness of this reality leads to the religious and moral duty that may serve as a true charter for human rights and dignity in our modem world and provide a genuine vision for a just society, universal peace and well-being.
5. We live in a global village of unparalleled technological and scientific advances. These present us with the challenge to use them for good and blessing and not for evil and curse, God forbid. In this regard, the global system of mass communications serves as a key educational vehicle. It behooves us to constructively utilise this opportunity for global edification, in keeping with our aforementioned shared religious and moral aspirations.
6. It was emphasised that the response to the challenge of promoting religious faith in contemporary society, requires us to provide living examples of justice, lovingkindness, tolerance and humility, in keeping with the words of the Prophet Micah: "It has been told to you, 0 man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you, but to do justice and lovingkindness and walk humbly with your God" (Mic 6 :8).
7. Religious education can and must provide hope and direction for positive living in human solidarity and harmony in our complex modern times. Above all, it is faith in God that gives us true security and joy, in keeping with the verse in Psalm 16: "I have set the Lord always before me ... therefore my heart rejoices..." (Ps 16:89).
8. In particular, religious leaders and educators have the special duty to instruct their communities to pursue the paths of peace for the well-being of society at large. We issue this appeal especially to the family of Abraham and we call upon all believers to put aside weapons of war and destruction - "to seek peace and pursue it" (Ps 34:15).
9. As religious leaders we share in the pain and sorrow of all who suffer in the Holy Land today - individuals, families and communities: and express our fervent hope and prayers for an end to the trials and tribulations in the Land that is holy to us all.
10. Finally, we urge our own communities, schools and families, to live in mutual respect and understanding and to immerse themselves in the study and teachings of our Holy Scriptures which we share, for the ennoblement of humanity, universal peace and justice. Thus will the words of the Prophet be fulfilled: "And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation and they shall not learn war any more" (Is 2:4).
The Jewish Delegation: Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, Rabbi Rasson Arussi, Rabbi David Brodman, Rabbi Yossef Azran, Rabbi David Rosen, Mr. Oded Wiener, Amb. Shmuel Hadas
The Vatican Delegation: Jorge Cardinal Mejia, Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Fr. Elias Chacour, Msgr.Pier Francesco Fumagalli, Fr. Norbert Hofmann SDB, (in absentia, Georges Cardinal Cottier), Archbishop Pietro Sambi
According to an article by Israel National News on January 22, 2004 titled, “The Rabbis’ Meeting with Pope: immediate Results”, it stated the following:
Israel National News - Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger spoke with
Arutz-7 this morning about his visit last week, together with Chief Rabbi
Rishon LeTzion Shlomo Amar, with Pope John Paul II in the Vatican. He told of
"immediate and wondrous results." Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger spoke with Arutz-7's Uzi Baruch this morning about
his visit last week, together with Chief Rabbi Rishon LeTzion Shlomo Amar,
with Pope John Paul II in the Vatican. He said that the meeting had more
historic value than practical value, "but we were told in advance that
this would be the case. In the Vatican, there is no such thing as decisions on
the spot; everything takes much time, with committees and the like. Despite
this, our meeting was a great departure from their regular protocol: It
only three days in advance, and in fact the Pope expressed opinions, though not officially; in
addition, only the three of us were there, and photos were permitted - major
changes from hundreds of years of protocol."
The meeting was called in order to discuss anti-Semitism, the redemption of our captives, and a mutual condemnation of terrorism. It had some unexpected ramifications, however:
"I can tell you something that the rabbi of Warsaw told me just this week - something very wondrous that resulted from this meeting. He said that after we met, he received dozens of calls from Poles who wished to confess their role in killing Jews during the Holocaust. The rabbi rebuffed them, though, saying he wasn't a priest for confession. But one man insisted and said he couldn't sleep at night, and told him that that at age 11, his uncle came from the front wearing an army uniform and wanted to show him how to shoot. So just for fun, he (the uncle) took 50 Jews and shot them on the spot. He, the 11-year-old, threw the bodies into some kind of hollow in the ground and covered them. For 62 years, he told no one, figuring that the Jews are not important. But when he saw on television how the Pope received the Chief Rabbis with such honor, calling them 'my older brothers' in front of the whole world, he said he realized that he did a great sin, and he therefore called the rabbi and said he wants to show him the 'burial' spot, and that he wants to atone by helping bring them to proper Jewish burial. This is something that came directly out of our meeting." "There are certainly plenty of tensions in Church-Jewish relations from what has happened over the years," Rabbi Metzger said, "but the current Pope is the best one in history, in terms of the Jews."
Note carefully that it was not the governments of Rome and Israel that has been conducting this exchange of religious dialogue but the highest levels of the Vatican government led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) as the special emissary of Pope John Paul II with the “Elders” or the “Chief Rabbinate of Israel.”
For some reason our minds return to that passage in the writings of the Prophet Daniel:
Daniel 9:27 – “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many (holy ones or the Chief Rabbinate of Israel) for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate. Even until the consummation which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”
this Covenant with Many (Holy Ones of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel begin with
the signing of the ”Declaration of Joint Commission of the Chief Rabbinate
of Israel's Delegation for Relations with the Catholic Church and the Holy
See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews” on December 1-3, 2004?
If possibly so, then we must remember this date of December 1-3, 2004 and a
prophetic milestone in the prophecies of the Jewish sage and prophet, the Prime
Minister of Babylon, Daniel.
It was not until October 19, 2004 that word leaked in the Asian News in an article dated October 19, 2004 titled, “Christians and Jews to Protect the Sacred Character of Jerusalem.” Out of this meeting came a joint statement was signed between the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Vatican Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with Jewry meeting in the Tuscany town of Grottaferrata between October 17-19, 2004.
Here in the Monastery of Grottaferrata, possible on the site or below the site of the ancient villa of Cicero whose palatial villa was adorned with statuary from Athens, the Chief Rabbis met with the papal envoy at the Basilica of Grottaferrata. Minutes away was the summer residence of Pope John Paul II at Castel Gondolfa, while the Jewish rabbinic leaders were negotiating with the papal emissaries, seeking to protect the holy sites of Jerusalem.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – “Jerusalem has a sacred character for all the children of Abraham,” and leaders must “respect this character and prevent actions which offend the sensibilities of religious communities that rely in Jerusalem and hold her dear.” Religious leaders are asked to “protest publicly” against “actions of disrespect towards religious persons, symbols, and holy sites”.
These are the main points in a joint statement issued today by the bilateral committee for religious dialogue between the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Vatican's Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with Jewry that met in Grottaferrata from October 17 to the 19.
The statement acknowledges that at present there “is no full understanding” in the respective communities “of the changes that have taken place in Catholic-Jewish relations”. Jews and Christians “are not enemies, but unequivocal partners in articulating the essential moral values for the survival and welfare of human society." Among the examples of deplorable actions against religious persons, symbols, and holy sites, the statement specifically mentions “the desecration of cemeteries and the recent assault on the Armenian Apostolic Patriarch of Jerusalem”.
On January 18, 2005, the Center for Catholic
Jewish Studies posted an news notes titled, “Rabbis from Around the World Thank
Pope John Paul II”
VATICAN CITY, JAN 18, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, in the largest private audience ever given by a Pope to Jewish leaders, John Paul II received 160 Jewish rabbis and cantors from Israel, the United States and Europe. The Holy Father pointed out that "this year we will be celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Declaration 'Nostra Aetate', which has significantly contributed to the strengthening of Jewish-Catholic dialogue. "May this be an occasion for renewed commitment to increased understanding and cooperation in the service of building a world ever more firmly based on respect for the divine image in every human being."
The rabbis, who all belong to the Pave the Way Foundation, thanked the Holy Father for "all the efforts he has sustained over 26 years of pontificate to reconcile the two faiths and demolish the wall of hatred," according to a communiqué from the Foundation published last evening. During the audience, they recited a prayer in honor of John Paul II.
Gary Krupp, founder and president of the Pave the Way Foundation, affirmed that the aim of his group is "to unite men and women of good faith, beyond any religious belief and without prejudice, and to remove with determination all obstacles in the way of this objective. The Pope has done this for decades. The least we can do is to thank him humbly for all he has done for the Jewish people in the world; and in our turn we undertake to make serious efforts for peace on Earth," he said. Rabbi Jack Bemporad, director of the Center for Inter-religious Understanding, said "since Vatican Council II, and under the guidance of Pope John Paul II, the Church has made many extremely significant steps to create new bonds with Jews on a foundation of sincere affection and reciprocity." "No Pope before John Paul II has ever done as much, or been so concerned to create fraternal relations between Catholics and Jews. ... I am convinced that Pope John Paul II will be considered a great healer of relations between Catholics and Jews. ... Coming to the Vatican from all over the world, we rabbis say thank you!"
It was on September 14, 2005 that Catholic World News stated that the two chief rabbis of Israel, Oded Weiner and shear-Yashuv Cohen would meet with Pope Benedict XVI on September 15, 2005 as noted in a news brief, “Israeli Rabbis suggest New Entry on Church Calendar.”
Catholic World News - “Two chief rabbis of Israel, Oded Wiener and Shear-Yashuv Cohen, will meet with Pope Benedict XVI on September 15. On the eve of their visit to the Pontiff's summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, the Israeli rabbis-- who this week took part in an international conference in Lyon organized by the St. Egidio community-- spoke of their hopes for the future of Catholic-Jewish relations.
During an interview with the I Media news agency, Oded Wiener, the director general of the Israeli rabbinate, said that in their meeting with the Pope the two Jewish leaders would discuss the 40th anniversary of the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate and the future of relations between the two faiths. The rabbi also disclosed his hope that the Catholic Church would set aside one day each year in memory of the persecuted Jews.”
Again on January 16, now in the year 2006, on the heels of the November 17, 2005 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI with Israeli President Moshe Katsav, the Vatican hosted another annual meeting with Jewish Rabbis. As stated in the Zenit News posted on the Center for Catholic Jewish Studies titled, “Benedict XVI tells Rabbi of Church’s Love for Jews. – Pope invited to Rome’s Synagogue”
Center for Catholic Jewish Studies – “Benedict XVI talked of the Church's love for the Jewish people when he received the chief rabbi of Rome in audience. "Shalom!" was the greeting the Pope expressed today when welcoming Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni and a Jewish delegation, on the eve of Italy's national day to further Catholic-Jewish dialogue. “The Catholic Church is close to you and is your friend," the Holy Father told the rabbi. "Yes, we love you and cannot but love you, 'through the Fathers.'"
Benedict XVI stressed that "we cannot fail to denounce and fight firmly against the hatred and misunderstanding, the injustice and violence that continue to worry the soul of men and women of good will." He added: "How can we not be pained and concerned over the renewal of manifestations of anti-Semitism?" For his part, the Jewish representative invited Benedict XVI to visit Rome's main synagogue, on the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's historic visit to that temple, on April 13, 1986.
In the audience, Benedict XVI observed: "Many are the needs and challenges of Rome and the world, which invite us to unite our hands and hearts in concrete initiatives of solidarity, 'tzede' [justice] and 'tzedekah' [charity].Together, we can work to transmit the torch of the Ten Commandments and of hope to the young generations," he said.
The chief rabbi thanked the Pope for his public commitment against anti-Semitism and fundamentalist terrorism. On referring to relations between the Catholic Church and Judaism promoted by John Paul II, Rabbi Di Segni acknowledged that "since the first moments of the new pontificate the conviction was clear that not only would there be no going back on the path undertaking, but that the path marked out would continue. This conviction of ours," he said, "is confirmed by your already numerous acts, by your statements, by the sensitivity shown in the denunciation of past and present anti-Semitism, by the condemnation of fundamentalist terrorism, and by the attention to the state of Israel, which for the whole Jewish people is an essential and central reference."
Truly the spirit of ecumenical closeness is about the consume the rabbinate of Israel, the “holy ones” called the “many” in Daniel. As we shall soon see, the march to eventually become the benefactor and protector of Judaism is at the door. Just a reminder of the words of their prophet, Daniel, the pathway to this détente will end in an abomination of desolations in Jerusalem itself.
Latin Rite Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michele Sabbah
Along with the Franciscan Father, David-Maria A. Jaeger, the second Vatican representative involved in the Bethlehem hostage crisis in 2002 was the Latin Rite Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michele Sabbah. Called a “philo-Palestinian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michele Sabbah is a fiery champion of the Palestinians whether biblical or political. As an Arab, he is every bit a patriot for Arab-Christian in the Middle East.
The author of the book, “Paix sur Jérusalem”, the central thesis and tone of his message is that “just as anti-Semitism and the Holocaust set the context for Jewish-Catholic relations in the West, in the Holy Land the agenda ought to be set by a century of Zionist nationalism, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
In his fiery passion, his message to the Israelis is: “In the end, we will send them away just as we did to the crusaders.” This concept that is shared in the patriarchate is that the “Islamic conquest of Jerusalem in 683 was a ‘second Pentecost.’” As such, Patriarch Sabbah has been called “the Islamic patriarch.”
As though the Vatican with its purposeful cacophony of disparate ideology towards the Israeli people is not broad enough, the forcefulness of both the Vatican agenda by the Franciscan Father, David-Maria A. Jaeger and now the Arab agenda by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michele Sabbah is become more stridently heard.
John Paul II as one of his final missions added a third dimension in August 2005 to the new Hebrew Jewish dimension in relationships; the Jewish Catholic bishop, Jean-Baptiste Gourion. Gourion is a converted Jew, born in Oran, Algeria in 1934, baptized to Catholicism at 24 and became a Benedictine monk at the French abbey of Bec. He later moved to Israel to the village of Abu Gosh in 1976. There he founded a new abbey and since 1990 became the head of the Îuvre Saint-Jacques whose pastoral ministry of concentrated for the Hebrew Catholics.
On January 23, 2004, BibleSearchers Reflection reported on “A World Peace for a World Religion” the ordination of Benedictine Abbot Jean-Baptiste Gourion as reported in the international press.
What was most unusual was that Abbot Jean-Baptiste Gourion was the first native Jew to be ordained as a Christian bishop in Jerusalem in almost two thousand years. Bishop Jean-Baptiste Gourion was a student and disciple of Jewish Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, the retired archbishop of Paris, who was the leading candidate after Pope Benedict XVI to be the successor of Pope John Paul II. To highlight the importance of Gourion’s ordination, the Pope John Paul II’s personal envoy Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah and the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Pietro Sambi were all in attendance.
As Gourion stated:
Benedictine Bishop Jean-Baptiste Gourion – “For me, Christianity and Judaism are the same. I didn’t have to leave Judaism to come to Christianity. The Jew and the Christian form the same body.”
As BibleSearchers noted concerning the ordination of Gourion in 2004:
BibleSearchers Reflections – “Life runs in cycles and at the time of the end a restored people will be claimed by Jesus. The Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia of Jerusalem ( Jerusalem Church) appears to set the model of the congregation of the remnant prior to the coming of the Messiah. There are various groups vying for the privilege of being the Lord’s restored ecclesia/church. These religious organizations include Messianic Jews, Messianic Christians, plus groups working toward the return of the House of Joseph, the restoration of the Two Houses of Israel, the new Nazarene Ecclesias and more historical churches; the Seventh-day Adventists, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormon Church.
There are many voices crying out that they are carrying the mantle of James the Just, the nasi or high priest of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia of Jerusalem. Will the remnant ecclesia/church be under the banner of an institutional church? If so then the Roman Catholic Church is staking its claim, “For the first time since the Apostle James served as bishop of Jerusalem, the Holy City has a Jewish bishop!” Will the ‘Holy See’ now accept its apostolic succession to James the Just instead of the Apostle Peter?
As if the recent Pontiff, John Paul II did have a purposeful agenda, Bishop Jean-Baptiste Gourion was placed side by side with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah with the special mission to develop a ministry of “pastoral care of the Catholic faithful of Jewish expression”
As reported on January 20, 2006, in the article titled, “Arab Patriarch Sabbah has an Auxiliary – But He Speaks Hebrew,” journalist Sandro Magister wrote:
Sandro Magister – “His (Bishop Gourion’s) nomination was considered for a long time, and
has always had more opposition than support. As recently as last May it
was seen as not being very likely. But then John Paul II became personally
involved. He pulled it off, but at the cost of displeasing many. One sign
of this discontent is the interpretation with which the French Catholic
weekly “La Vie” gave the news of the nomination. It described it as “completely
political,” done to “restabilize the Vatican´s relations with Israel” and destined to “divide the Christians of the Holy Land even more.”
The Pathway of the Vatican to assume control over its Holy Sites and the City of Old Jerusalem has been one of deliberate stealth and intent. Fifteen years in negotiations and the final bid will be: The city of Jerusalem does not belong to the Jews or the Palestinians. The Holy City for Jews, Christians and Islam belongs in the care of the Vicar of Rome.
Along the way we have seen many partners in the global bid for world peace and reconciliation, let us continue as we meet newer partners and evaluate this final pathway for peace. The final call for global religious unity is already upon us.
Go to Part Three – “The Vatican Wants Jerusalem”
The Vatican Seeks to Reclaim its Own
Go to Part One – The Church with the Upper Room
The Jesuits and the Vatican Makes Its Bid to Take Possession of King David’s Tomb
The Cenacle or the Upper Room
The Hassidim, the Essenes and the House with the Upper Room
Noahide Laws of God
The Synagogue of the Hebrew Nazarenes
The Holy Roman Empire’s Legacy on the Mount of Zion
The German Influence in the Building of the Dormition Abbey
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor as the King of Cyprus and Jerusalem
The Knights of the Teutonic Order
Go to Part Two - The Pathway and the Players in the Bid to Control Jerusalem
Israeli President Moshe Katsav meets Pope Benedict XVI on November 17, 2005
The Pathway of the Vatican to Obtain Hegemony over the Holy Sites in Jerusalem
A Chronology of the Attempts by the Vatican to Displace Israel from the Old City Of Jerusalem
The Secret Negotiations between the Vatican, Israel and the Palestinians
Franciscan Father David-Marie A. Jaeger, Legal Papal Envoy
The Bethlehem Debacle in the Jewish-Vatican Relationship
Latin Rite Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michele Sabbah
The Hebrew Jewish Bishop Jean-Baptiste Gourion
Go to Part Three – “The Vatican Wants Jerusalem”
The Battle of Control between the Jewish Christian Catholics and the Arab Christian Catholics
Rome’s Model for the Control of Jerusalem
Vatican and Israel Agree to Normalize and Establish Diplomatic Relations – 1993
Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel – December 30, 1993
Vatican and Israel Establish the Vatican’s Legal Status in Israel - 1997
Jewish Rabbi David Rosen – Papal Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great
The Vatican wants Jerusalem - Pressure On for the Internationalization of Jerusalem
Links to the Vatican and Mount Zion
Documents Relating to the Mt. Zion Situation – November 17, 2005
By the Committee to Save Mount Zion by the International Society for Sephardic Progress
November 1, 2005 - Strongly written letter to the Rabbi of Diaspora Yeshiva on Mt. Zion from David Bartheldy in Haifa. This letter is dated October 28, 2005. OPEN
November 2, 2005 - Draft of the Proposed Deal Between President Katsav of Israel and the Vatican. OPEN
November 8, 2005 - Letters Sent to the Diaspora Yeshiva OPEN
November 10, 2005 - Two letters sent to us from Councilwoman Mina Fenton of the Municipality of Jerusalem:
Letter 1 GIF or MS DOC - From David Bartholdi (sp?) to Director General of the Tourism Ministry introducing his Celestial Psalms Track initiative to turn the King David's Tomb building into a tourist project while claiming that Rabbi SZ Kahana's management was abysmal and scandalous, having broken the laws to take control of the site. Kahana was the founder of the religious school on Mt. Zion.
Letter 2 GIF or MS DOC - Letter from Eliyahu Lipschitz of the Tourism Ministry's legal office to Advocate Shlomo Avni, noting that the Bartholdi Project could be considered without tender but has to be proven financially sound first.
November 13, 2005 - LINK to Article 10 of Fundamental Agreement Between the Holy See and the State of Israel (December 30, 1993)
November 15, 2005 - This letter is to David Bartholdi from Reshut Ha Teva endorsing their development of the area. It shows that the developers are trying to garner as many "pro" letters for their project as possible in order to convince the state authorities to alter the zoning, etc. (open)
November 15, 2005 - This documents show that the Mt. Zion based Diaspora Yeshiva has applied to Tabu to develop the area and has received a very positive reply. (open)
November 15, 2005 - Correspondence Between The London Times and Ellen Horowitz of the Committee to Save Mt. Zion (open):
This demonstrates there was a swap deal on the agenda, that there was a Draft Agreement between the State of Israel and the Vatican, that the story originated from within the Vatican, and that is was disseminated via legitimate media sources. AND that the Vatican has been, is, and will continue to be very intent on getting the room which houses the Diaspora Yeshiva and the traditional Tomb of King David.
November 16, 2005 - The Status of Mt. Zion from the Rabbis of Mt. Zion. An official statement issued by the rabbis of Mt. Zion, Jerusalem for the Committee to Save Mt. Zion. (open)
November 17, 2005 - Shas MK Yitzhak Cohen asked on Nov. 16 a parliamentary question regarding the truthfulness of media reports that Mt. Zion will be given over to the Church. Minister Meir Sheetrit replied: "After investigation with the Holy Sites Administrator, it is clear that there is no such intention. [Note: only the transfer ownership of David's Tomb, since only the Tomb is mentioned, there is still room for doubt.] ". A second question regarding Hebron's Cave of the Patriarch is asked. http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/103145105.doc (archived here)
Archives by Barry Chamish
Katsav meets Pope Benedict XVI Jerusalem Post November 17, 2005
Israel to hand control of Jerusalem holy site to Vatican Haaretz November 6, 2005 HEBREW ARTICLE
Article on the Vatican and Mt. Zion Maariv Newspaper November 6, 2005 HEBREW ARTICLE
Follow the Papal Paper Trail Israel National News November 9, 2005 by Ellen W. Horowitz
"Katsav Won't Ink David's Tomb Deal Next Week" Jerusalem Post November 10, 2005
Letters to the editor, Jerusalem Post November 13, 2005
An exchange that makes sense Jerusalem Post November 13, 2005
Don't do it, President Katsav Jerusalem Post November 13, 2005
Jerusalem Old City Rabbis Declare Campaign To Protect Mt. Zion from Church Takeover. Hatzofe November 15, 2005
Jewish Activities Planned for Mt. Zion Israel National News November 15, 2005 IMPORTANT ARTICLE
Israeli Political Comic Strip Dry Bones - November 15, 2005
Vatican Seeks Pieces of Jerusalem The Trumpet November 16, 2005
Vatican presses visiting Israeli leader on pact Catholic News September 17, 2004 IMPORTANT ARTICLE
Poraz supports Vatican request for control over David's Tomb Israel National News - September 26, 2004 IMPORTANT ARTICLE
The Vatican and its Friends Israel National News 24 February 05 & April 4, 2005 Israel Insider Magazine
President Katzav to Visit Vatican Israel National News October 2, 2005
Vatican offers swap deal to regain site of Last Supper London Times October 13, 2005
Vatican in deal with Israel to look after Last Supper room The Australian October 14, 2005 IMPORTANT ARTICLE
Vatican in deal with Israel to look after Last Supper room Catholic News October 14, 2005
Vatican to trade Toledo synagogue for 'Last Supper' room in Jerusalem? World Jewish Congress October 14, 2005
ISRAEL TO CEDE CONTROL OVER SITE OF LAST SUPPER? EWTN Global Catholic Network October 20, 2005
Vatican: Parts of David’s Tomb to Be Under Papal Control [HEBREW] Israel National News October 20, 2005
Vatican: Parts of David’s Tomb to Be Under Papal Control Israel National News October 20, 2005
Paper: Israel, Vatican close to deal October 21, 2005 JTA
Vatican't Israel National News October 23, 2005 by Ellen W. Horowitz
Letter Submitted to the Editor Jerusalem Post October 27, 2005 by Yaffa Ganz
"Katsav, papal official deny 'site swap'" Jerusalem Post November 2, 2005
Mt. Zion Handover: President Denies, Reports Persist Israel National News November 3, 2005
Vatican Asks for Israel to Return Site of Last Supper AGI November 4, 2005 IMPORTANT ARTICLE
Can This Be Real? Israel National News November 4, 2005 Batya Medad
Report: Israel to hand control of Jerusalem holy site to Vatican Haaretz November 6, 2005
Israeli Concessions Stand Israel National News opinion by Michele Nevada November 7, 2005
Katsav meets Pope Benedict XVI Jerusalem Post November 17, 2005
Archives on the Vatican and the Zion Shrine at King David’s Tomb
Pope and King Seek Care of Zion Shrine NY Times July l 9, 1920 (PDF)
Catholics to Buy Site from Moslems; Negotiations Proceeding for the Cenacle NY Times July 8, 1930 (PDF)
Deny Purchase of Mount Zion Site NY Times July 9, 1930 (PDF) INTERESTING
Christians Enter King David's Tomb NY Times July 5, 1948 (PDF)
Vatican Accuses Israel NY Times July 8, 1949
Passover - Gates of Tomb of King David on Mount Zion Are Opened NY Times April 10, 1952 (PDF)
Jews Make Pilgrimage NY Times April 14, 1952 (PDF)
Israel Agrees to Internationalize Mt. Zion NY Times July 11, 1953 (PDF) IMPORTANT ARTICLE
Pope Visits Mt. Zion in 1964 NY Times January 6, 1964 (Large PDF)
Group Seeking $1-Million for 6 1/2 Acre Project NY Times January 6, 1964 (PDF) Teddy Kollek
Reports Mt. Zion Has Important Artifacts
Israeli-Vatican Difference Over Jerusalem Widened NY Times July 25, 1971(PDF)
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