The Vatican and Jerusalem
The Vatican Agenda:
How Does The Vatican View The Legitimacy of Israel's Claims To Jerusalem?
By Joel Bainerman
Most Israelis have probably never thought very much about what the Roman Catholic Church/The Vatican thinks about "end of days" theology. Jews themselves don't give much thought to what will happen when "Gog and Magog" takes place. Jews don't go in for anything the least bit "next world" but instead are firmly planted in the here and know. That's good.
However it doesn't matter what Jews think, what matters is what The Vatican believes, and why it believes this. Judaism, and modern Jewish thought pretty much just dismisses the basic tenets of Catholicism outright and doesn't even bother addressing the core questions of what is behind "Catholic theological claims."
Instead of taking what they believe seriously, we tend to snicker amongst ourselves when we see those pictures of obscure rituals and ceremonies, and think the whole religion is near pagan-like with the "eating of Holy Wafers" and "sprinkling of Baptism water" on people's heads. That may be true, but that doesn't matter. What matters is what they believe and what they plan to do about making their beliefs become a reality.
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.
In fact, that is exactly what happened.
This essay will provide the background to that deal, as well as what the Vatican’s intentions are regarding Israel and The Old City Of Jerusalem. It will reveal which Israeli politicians made certain commitments to The Vatican regarding the issue of sovereignty in the Old City of Jerusalem. These negotiations and meetings were all carried out in secret. During this time period, 1992-l995, the Oslo Accords was what got all the public's attention. Oslo was like "throwing sand in the eyes" of the public. The Vatican is where the real action was happening. Oslo seemed to be just the cover story. A “red herring”, if you will.
What Does The Vatican Want?
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 to 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.
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".
A Chronology Of The Attempt By The Vatican To Displace Israel From The Old City Of Jerusalem
The “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:
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 Israel.
On March 17th, Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek says: "The Israeli government should meet the Vatican's demand to apply special status for Jerusalem."
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.
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.
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.
On the 10th of September, just three days before the signing of the Oslo Accords 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 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 him in return for the Vatican acknowledging Palestinians claims to East Jerusalem and the right to statehood. The violence 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. The "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.
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."
With absolutely no media coverage in Israel, on December 30th an "historic agreement with the Vatican" is publicly acknowledged. Called: "The Fundamental Agreement Between The Holy See and The State of Israel", it declares:
"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"
Already 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?
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.)
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.
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.
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 one party should claim Jerusalem as its possession."
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.
A cable from the Israeli Embassy in Rome to The Foreign Ministry was in Jerusalem is 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."
Member of Knesset 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.
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."
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.)
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. 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 Rudaineh, "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.
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?)
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."
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, them 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 form the marauding Romans in 70 CE. It was also assumed that the original records of the Jerusalem Church which prove 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 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.
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)
So What Is The Vatican Planning And What Can Israeli Jews Do About It?
For centuries the Vatican has been pushing its "replacement" doctrine which states that the Catholic has replaced Israel as "the New Israel".
The Roman Catholic Church wants Israel to lose sovereign control over the Old City of Jerusalem so that "the promises to the literal descendents of Abraham will be applied to the 'New Jerusalem.'" If Israel controls Jerusalem it is evidence that Rome's claims are not legitimate and that the literal interpretation of Scriptures is correct. There is no place for the restoration of the nation of Israel in its theology. How can the Vatican claim to be "the New Jerusalem" and "rightful heir to the Kingdom of God" if the Jews control Jerusalem? How is the Catholic Church going to convince the world that their version of theology is correct?
The Vatican is going to have everyone believe this "mysterious individual who will "unite the faiths" and appear in Jerusalem which will be under the control of an authority headed by The Vatican. " That deal to have the Vatican come into Israel and take over these properties and to "control and dominate the Old City of Jerusalem" already exists and has been fully documented and reported in the world's media.
The end goal of The Vatican is to seize control of the Old City of Jerusalem out of the clutches of the state of Israel. To that end they have a secret agreement with Israel which obliges Israel to respect the "extraterritorial" claim to their physical presence in the city. In short, "we have accepted the Vatican's rights to have little Vatican sovereign embassies throughout our eternal capital of Jerusalem. That same Vatican has committed itself, in public and in a written agreement, to ensure that the Palestinians have sovereignty in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The public record shows a secret deal has already been conducted behind the backs of the Israeli public whereby the Vatican was promised to take over the Old City. There is ample proof in the public record to prove that a secret deal was done with the Vatican by two Israeli government representatives, Yossi Beilin and Shimon Peres. As it was concocted covertly it can’t serve the Israeli public- but someone else. Thus these agreements need to be made void and nullified.
It doesn't matter if religious Jews or Israelis think that "Catholic theology" is "strange looking" or extremely "ritualistic." What matters is that all Israelis understand that The Vatican has a secret agenda and it includes stealing the Old City of Jerusalem away from the Jews. That is what you need to know and understand. Unfortunately, this agenda is being carried out in secret and behind your back and that is why you are ignorant of its true aims. The purpose of this essay is to warn you of these exact intentions of The Vatican so that you will be an "informed consumer" when it comes to Israel's relations with the Roman Catholic Church. Even the overt clauses of the Vatican agreement, the exchange of ambassadors and the opening of the Vatican archives to Israeli researchers, have not been fulfilled by The Vatican. From an Israeli perspective, the "Fundamental Agreement Between The Holy See and The State of Israel" has been a complete failure and should be immediately rescinded.
Joel Bainerman is an investigative journalist based in Israel. His published archive can be viewed at his website at www.joelbainerman.com.
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