Photo Credit:
Prime Minister Netanyahu presents Pope Francis with a menorah

The definition of “disputed” has expanded to include David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, at least according to the Agence France-Presse newswire.

For some reason, the site – which is revered by some Christian groups as the supposed site of the Last Supper – was never recognised as a disputed sit-in the past. When Jordan occupied the Old City of Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, Mount Zion served as a no-man’s land between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom. There, as in the rest of Jordanian Jerusaelem, Jewish prayer rights were non-existent.

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But the Catholic Church never seemed to mind the non-Catholic administration of the site. No Israeli or international media described Mount Zion as “disputed” when Pope Paul VI visited the Holy Land in 1964 (notably, the pontiff did not visit sovereign Israel or meet with Israeli leaders), nor was there any expectation that Jordan would cede control of the holy site to the Vatican.

Later, too, the Centacle, or Last Supper Room, failed to play a significant role in either the March, 2000 pilgrimage by Pope John Paul II, or in the May, 2009 visit by Pope Benedict XVI.

This visit is different, largely because Pope Francis, a member of the Franciscan faction of the Catholic Church, will celebrate mass at the site.  calling into question Israeli sovereignty over the site. Franciscan monks renovated the site in the 14th century, giving the current pope a special connection to the Centacle.

As a result, Vatican sources have said they would like Israel to cede control of the site, a request to which some Reform groups have said would be a meaningful “gesture” towards peace and reconciliation with the Church.

Israeli sources have said that David’s Tomb, a site that Jews believe is the burial site of King David, is not up for negotiation. Prime Minister Netanyahu has denied outright rumors that the site would be handed to then Church.

But today, Miri Regev announced that public deliberations would be held on the matter on Monday, May 19, and that representatives of both the Prime Minister’s Bureau and the Foreign Ministry are scheduled to attend the meeting.

Religious protesters are expected to demonstrate against the transfer of control on May 22, three days before the pope is set to visit Jerusalem. The newswire also cited the “fact”that the David’s Tomb site “is important to Muslims,” without citing any historic or religious connection between Islam and the holy site. In addition, the reported mentioned the recent rise in so-called price tag “hate crimes by Jewish extremists” against Muslim and Christian sites as an obstacle to the pope’s visit.

“The unrestrained acts of vandalism poison the atmosphere — the atmosphere of co-existence and the atmosphere of collaboration, especially in these two weeks prior to the visit of Pope Francis,” Latin Patriarch Fuad Twal, the most senior Roman Catholic figure in the Holy Land, said on Sunday.

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Avi is a news writer for The Jewish Press. In the past, he has covered Israel and the Jewish world for Israel National News, Ami magazine and other international media.

83 COMMENTS

  1. No, they’ve got it wrong. Wasn’t one of the Popes Jewish? That makes the Vatrican ours. Also since most of the Second Temple’s religious objects were taken to Rome and are rumoured to be in the Vatican, that’s ours too. Throw in Michaelangelo’s David and the Trevi fountain and ship them all to Jerusalem.

  2. Perhaps, we all need to think outside the box, and ask why?

    Perhaps, by having a 3rd party at this site, will prevent the Moslems from further attacks and vandalism?

    It will be like having the eyes, Israel has been needing.

    No longer can the Moslems get away with their propaganda!

  3. Unfortunately, after seeing what the arabs are doing to Christians in Bethlehem and other parts of the West Bank, a Catholic presence in regards to the site will,have no effect on their actions.They merely hate Jews and Christians. Period.

  4. When you acept Christ as your Lord, maybe the Vatican will be yours, see what you dont understand is the word Catholic, means Universal, you by your own definition are not universal, we are, we are in every Continent in every country, so wise up, if we want the moument its ours period.

  5. When you acept Christ as your Lord, maybe the Vatican will be yours, see what you dont understand is the word Catholic, means Universal, you by your own definition are not universal, we are, we are in every Continent in every country, so wise up, if we want the moument its ours period.

  6. When you acept Christ as your Lord, maybe the Vatican will be yours, see what you dont understand is the word Catholic, means Universal, you by your own definition are not universal, we are, we are in every Continent in every country, so wise up, if we want the moument its ours period.

  7. sad its come to this- Jerusalem is ours and the Tomb is ours. the pope came come and visit, have a mass but then go home.period. oh yes, as a nice gesture, he could return some of the loot he and his predecessors stole from us.

  8. sad its come to this- Jerusalem is ours and the Tomb is ours. the pope came come and visit, have a mass but then go home.period. oh yes, as a nice gesture, he could return some of the loot he and his predecessors stole from us.

  9. Thank you for making a very clear Christian point, Eduardo. Every day we read how Christians love us and especially our stuff. You have been honest. Jews need to get this straight though I sense that you’re baiting Jews. Jews have nothing except what Christians wish to allow us to have. We have no scriptures–it is an “Old Testament” that is to be accompanied by their “New Testament”. We supposedly have a Jewish state which is virtually governed by gentile, “Christian” countries. Our rabbis, many of them, talk about our masters’ enemies like dogs, but how dare anyone say anything about Christians. Our Jewish and Israeli leaders make appointments to kiss the asses of Christian leaders (not just the pope). And Christians tread down Israel as their own personal territory where they allow Jews to live for their ideological pleasure. It’s sickening.

  10. Thank you for making a very clear Christian point, Eduardo. Every day we read how Christians love us and especially our stuff. You have been honest. Jews need to get this straight though I sense that you’re baiting Jews. Jews have nothing except what Christians wish to allow us to have. We have no scriptures–it is an “Old Testament” that is to be accompanied by their “New Testament”. We supposedly have a Jewish state which is virtually governed by gentile, “Christian” countries. Our rabbis, many of them, talk about our masters’ enemies like dogs, but how dare anyone say anything about Christians. Our Jewish and Israeli leaders make appointments to kiss the asses of Christian leaders (not just the pope). And Christians tread down Israel as their own personal territory where they allow Jews to live for their ideological pleasure. It’s sickening.

  11. I don’t want to be universal, i am proud of being a Jew and proud of Israel and there is no reason why israel should give the vatican King David’s Tomb. We do wear his Star,the star of David and not a cross.

  12. I don’t want to be universal, i am proud of being a Jew and proud of Israel and there is no reason why israel should give the vatican King David’s Tomb. We do wear his Star,the star of David and not a cross.

  13. I don’t want to be universal, i am proud of being a Jew and proud of Israel and there is no reason why israel should give the vatican King David’s Tomb. We do wear his Star,the star of David and not a cross.

  14. This is not a ‘neutral’ or sympathetic act on behalf of Christianity. (And there is not essential difference between Protestants and Catholics.) In the Christian delusion, David is the pedigree needed to establish Christian doctrine–David in the lineage of Jesus of Nazareth to allege a kingship–Jesus as allegedly “the son of David” and so the Vatican wants to exert its authority as heir to Jesus as son of David, King of Israel, etc., etc. It is not just a claim to David’s Tomb; it is an acknowledgment that Jesus is King (Messiah). And that is why I would rather see the Tomb destroyed than to support the supposed sovereignty of the Church worshiping Jesus. And any Jew allowing it should be excommunicated than have their picture taken smiling with the pope like a braying jackass.

  15. Catholicism has stolen much from Jews, as well as ALL Christians. The Catholic Church is NO friend of Israel. For them it is all about money and power.
    The early church was Jewish and kept the Feasts of The Lord. The Catholic Church, in it’s ‘almighty’ authority decided to substitute pagan feasts, such as Easter and Christmas, valentine’s day, May Day and all the rest.
    The Catholic Church was complicit in the holocaust! They have their people bowing down to idols!!!! It is an abomination!!!! Please, Israel…..please do NOT trust this man, nor the monstrosity he represents!!

  16. Cornelia, first of all catholics are christians, we founded the religion, Jesus said, to Peter that he would found his church on Peter, the Pope is the sucesor of Peter, now I dont see how Catholics have stolen from Catholics, I think its the other way around, Catholics visit Israel, and have done so before the Jewish State was founded, the true Catholics saved thousands of jews during WWII, the Pope orderd priests to hand out baptismo certificates to jews so they would not be sent to concentration camps, so please be sensible, if you dont want anti semitism you have to respect other poeples belives,

  17. Cornelia, first of all catholics are christians, we founded the religion, Jesus said, to Peter that he would found his church on Peter, the Pope is the sucesor of Peter, now I dont see how Catholics have stolen from Catholics, I think its the other way around, Catholics visit Israel, and have done so before the Jewish State was founded, the true Catholics saved thousands of jews during WWII, the Pope orderd priests to hand out baptismo certificates to jews so they would not be sent to concentration camps, so please be sensible, if you dont want anti semitism you have to respect other poeples belives,

  18. It isn’t a ‘nice gesture’. Sweet of you to say so, but it wasn’t. The Catholic Church is after money and power.
    They have stolen much from the Jews, as well as the early church, which was Jewish.
    Yeshua was a Jew. His followers, which were many, were Jews. They kept the Feasts of The Lord, they kept Sabbath.
    The Catholic Church stole from them, too. They substituted pagan feasts such as Easter, Christmas and on and on. They told the people that they could pray to idols…and they do. They substituted ‘Sun-day’ for the Sabbath.
    What the Vatican is trying to do is beguile the world into thinking it is holy. It is NOT!!
    They were complicit in the holocaust. They are pro-Muslim. They are not to be trusted.
    You seem to be a very kind man. Please. Do not be fooled by this man:-))

  19. I went to a Jesuit school and can attest to the fact that you Eduardo are more than a bit off the rails. Jesus never spoke of founding a ‘church’ . Indeed there are many things that ‘Jesus said’, but all attributed to third , fourth , fifth etc hand reports and mostly ruminating from Sol , a disgruntled coreligionist of Jesus who live 40-60 years after Jesus’ time who never-the less held himself out as the all knower named Paul. In essence it’s not ‘Christianity’ , there’s no such movement , in fact it’s Paulism. Look
    To James, the brother of Jesus ;what did he have to say? The movement led by Jesus could religiously in someways compare to all the various movements in Judaism whether Lubavitcher,
    Satimer,reform, conservative reform ,etc ,(albeit it was just as much a rebellious movement against the Roman oppressors .)What Jesus did say at the end ,completely in keeping with Jewish suffering at the hand of enemies ,was ‘Forgive them Father for they know not what they do ‘;for he was born a Jew, lived his life as a Jew and died because he was a Jew .So until Francis throws off his mantle and accepts that fact and perhaps meditates on why many ‘ Christian ‘priests and ministers convert ( back?) to Judaism( I personally know a few) this entire false brouhaha needs to be put to bed.

  20. actually Elizabeth is correct…how dare the truly ignorant judge another based on ignorance…..study history before you spew your false accusations, it will enlighten you to the truth…the catholic church began from a mix of chrisianity and paganism…look into it and youll feel better of the knowledge of truth verses ignorance!

  21. Alan Kardon , you see the Muslims and Catholics as extremists. I suppose you are right. They believe their way is the best way and likely best for them. However, they believe that others should be like them. Oh well, you know where that goes. What if everyone become Jewish, do you think that would work best. However, we have differences in Judaism too. You better believe it. Ultra-orthodox, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Liberal, etc. etc. etc. Ever see that movie called, 'Stop the World, I Want to Get Off.'Yes, Alan, you do get us thinking and that is very very good.

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