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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘sovereignty’

Temple Mount Closure And EU Boycott

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

On Tisha B’Av Prime Minister Netanyahu dramatically declared that Israel would not allow foreigners to interfere with our borders. This may have sounded like good news to local ears, but on the very same day the prime minister contradicted his own policy.

On the morning of Tisha B’Av, hundreds of Jews, among them three Knesset members, attempted to enter the Temple Mount – but were denied access. The next day Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin made a second attempt to enter the Mount but was turned away. When MK Yariv Levin asked about this fiasco in the Knesset plenum, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich answered, as usual, that there is no policy change regarding the Mount and that anyone who wishes to enter can do so. He said that Jewish visitors enter the Mount every day with no problem and that the closure of the Mount to visitors (including Knesset members) was the security decision of the local commander.

Aharonovich knowingly lied to the Knesset. Everyone involved with the Temple Mount issue knows that since Netanyahu acquiesced to the demands of the Muslim wakf and denied me access to the Temple Mount, police control of the holy site has rapidly deteriorated. The Temple Mount has become a staging ground for a vicious struggle, with cries of “kill the Jews!” becoming routine there. Jews are consistently distanced from the Mount and Israel’s police project unprecedented spinelessness, fear and defeatism in the face of the burgeoning brazenness of the Muslim wakf.

Israeli police have all the means at their disposal – if they choose to use it – to disperse the Arab rioters within minutes and to make it possible for the Jews to visit their holiest site. But, as it is wont to do, Israel’s police adopted the role of security fig leaf for the prime minister, who is giving the holy Mount’s sovereignty to Jordan and the Muslim wakf – while talking mightily about not allowing foreigners to interfere in Israel’s sovereignty.

Aharonovich claimed that the Mount was closed, due to security considerations, as per the decision of the local commander. But there is a truly reliable side to this story contrary to his version of events. Here is the relevant part of the Jordan News Agency’s July 16 report from Ramallah:

Israeli Police Prevent Jewish Extremists From Entering Al-Aqsa Compound Due To Demand By Jordan

Following the pressure exerted by [the] Jordanian government on the Israeli authorities, the Israeli police on Tuesday closed the Mughrabi Gate, one of Al-Aqsa Mosque’s doors, and prevented Jewish extremists from entering it.

Director of the Islamic Waqf in occupied Jerusalem, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, told Petra [News] that the Israeli police closed the gate and prevented extremists and foreign tourists from entering Al-Aqsa compound today, “the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple,” after Jordanian pressure and intervention by the Department of Islamic Waqf and [the] Jordanian ambassador in Tel Aviv, Walid Obeidat.

He confirmed that the ban came as a result of the intensive communications undertaken by Jordan to prevent the desecration of Al-Aqsa during the holy month of Ramadan. Al-Khatib praised the vital Jordanian role in protecting Jerusalem and the holy sites.

This report, verified by additional sources, is nothing new. The prime minister has used the police, the attorney general’s office and the courts before in his quest to implement a political decision when wanting to cede sovereignty on the Temple Mount to the Muslims. And he’s done this without the Knesset’s authorization. This is how issues surrounding the Temple Mount have been disposed of since it was liberated. Netanyahu has simply expanded the practice.

The capitulation on the Temple Mount leads to the construction halt in Jerusalem. In other words, the organs close to the heart become infected with the same illness: the loss of sovereignty syndrome. In this manner, our existential legitimacy in the entire land is crumbling before our eyes.

What do we expect of the European Union? After all, for 46 years we have been saying that the land of Israel is theirs – not ours. We hurried to give the heart of Jerusalem and the nation, the Temple Mount, to the Muslim wakf. We refused to declare Israel’s sovereignty in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. We recognized another, conveniently invented “nation” as indigenous to the land, recognized its terrorist liberation movement, and armed it with Israeli weapons. We vowed to retreat so as to enable the establishment of a state for this make-believe “nation” in the heart of biblical Israel. We expelled and destroyed entire Jewish communities. We committed ourselves to the two-state principle.

But over the past 20 years not one of our leaders, at any level, has said that this is our land – no ifs, ands, or buts. This straightforward phrase simply does not exist in the lexicon of Israel’s political and military leadership.

So why are we surprised that the Europeans are tired of this entire subject? It took them 46 years to be convinced that we are serious that this really is not our land, that we are nothing more than foreign conquerors in Palestine. Perhaps the Arabs are not nice, they think, but they are very, very right on this issue. After all, Israel’s political Left and Right have both bowed to their claims and recognized the justice of their cause. Yitzhak Rabin shook the hand of their murderous leader, while Netanyahu hugged him with both his hands. So what can we expect: that after we have admitted that we are the problem, the Europeans will allow us to continue to threaten world peace?

We no longer have anywhere to run from the scales of justice. When you do not put your weight on one side of the scale, the other side is heavier. You can be prettier, nicer, more European – and even a peace seeker. But if you have abandoned your side of the scale, the other side will always win.

We lost the justice of our cause when we gave the Temple Mount to the Muslims. The only way to restore our justice is to remove the Muslim wakf from the Mount and to empower our holiest site as the center of holiness and exclusive sovereignty of Israel.

Iran’s Unhidden Plan for Genocide: A Legal Right to Prevent Genocide? (Second of Three Parts)

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Originally published under the title “Iran’s Unhidden Plan for Genocide: A Legal Assessment (Second of Three Parts).” 

On June 7, 1981, Israel launched Operation Opera against Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor outside Baghdad. Officially, this preemptive attack on Osiraq – which ultimately saved a great many American and other lives ten years later, during the first Gulf War, was an expression of anticipatory self-defense. Interestingly, however, because Iraq had always considered itself to be formally at war with Israel, the Jewish state could just as easily and correctly have regarded this essential act of preemptive self-defense as something else.

Back in 1981, taking an alternative legal position, Prime Minister Menachem Begin could have justified Operation Opera as a permissible tactical action in the wider context of a longstanding and ongoing belligerency. Had he done so, Israel could then have pointed out that both of the pertinent legal obligations applying here had also been fully satisfied. These are the always twin obligations of “just cause” (facing an existential threat), and “just means” (minimizing collateral harms). To be acceptable, any act of anticipatory self-defense would have to fulfill classic law of war expectations that the means used to injure an enemy are not unlimited.

Jurisprudentially, it is significant that Begin chose, explicitly, to link Operation Opera to preventing, in his words, “another Holocaust.” Historically, of course, the rationale of including anticipatory self-defense under customary international law had been the prevention of aggression, not genocide. Logically, it was not until 1951, when the Genocide Convention first entered into force, that the legal question of defensive first strikes to forestall such crimes against humanity could even have been raised.

After the Holocaust, and subsequent Nuremberg Trials, it became plain that the prerogatives of sovereignty in world law could no longer remain absolute, and that the once-legitimate cover of “domestic jurisdiction” would now have to exclude certain crimes against human rights. With this very fundamental transformation, individual human life was to be held sacred everywhere, and individual states were no longer automatically precluded from entering into the “territorial sphere of validity” of other states. On the contrary, from then on the traditional norm of “non-intervention” would need to yield to indisputably compelling judgments of “international concern.”

It was now the reasonable expectation that all states, either individually or collectively, would acknowledge a distinct and overriding legal obligation to prevent Nuremberg-category crimes (after 1951, crimes of genocide) in other states, even to the extent of undertaking active intervention within those sovereign states.

This critical obligation was strongly reinforced at Articles 55 and 56 of the United Nations Charter, a core document that has the formal status of a multilateral treaty. Today we speak of all such permissible interventions as “humanitarian.” Sometimes diplomats and scholars prefer the closely related term “The Responsibility to Protect.”

Whichever term is preferred, the international legal order now accepts and expects that all states will feel co-responsible for each other, including the prevention of genocide and certain corollary crimes against humanity. Examples of this collaborative expectation, a concept that makes incontestably good sense in our still-anarchic system of world law – a system that first came into being in 1648, when the Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years’ War and that has yet to be replaced with genuinely effective supra-national legal institutions – can be found in at least four prominent post-Holocaust cases:

(1) the Tanzania-led invasion of Uganda in 1979, which put an end to Idi Amin’s almost decade-long genocide against the Acholi and Langi tribes;

(2) the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in 1979, which put an end to the Khmer Rouge mass murder of almost 2,000,000 people, a genocide that had targeted several diverse populations along many different ethnic, cultural, and tribal lines;

(3) the 1971 genocide against Bengali people, the “Bangladesh Genocide,” which covered an area then originally known as “East Pakistan,” and that was finally stopped by massive Indian military intervention; and

(4) the 1994 invasion of Rwanda by Tutsi rebels who had been “hosted” in neighboring Burundi, and also in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This genocide, perpetrated largely by Hutu extremists (the interahamwe) produced almost 1,000,000 deaths in ninety-days, making it the “fastest” genocidal mass murder in human history. It is also infamously noteworthy because the European powers, the United States, and the United Nations had all abandoned every shred of responsibility for humanitarian intervention or the responsibility to protect.

Conference Urges Israeli Sovereignty Over Judea And Samaria

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

JERUSALEM – “It is not just Israel’s right to apply sovereignty to Judea and Samaria,” said Eran Bar-Tal, economics reporter for Makor Rishon, “but its obligation.”

This was the feeling of virtually all the participants and speakers at last month’s “Applying Sovereignty to Judea and Samaria” conference in Hebron. The only dispute among some of the speakers was whether to immediately apply Israeli sovereignty to all of Judea and Samaria (Yesha), or only to parts.

Both the program and the hall – the Hebron Heritage Center next door to the Machpelah Cave – were packed. No fewer than fifteen speakers addressed the hundreds of participants, including four pre-taped video appearances, as well as the two organizers, Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katzover of Women in Green.

The bottom line, as far as the conference participants were concerned: It’s time for Israel to put an end to the dangerous and barren talk of a Palestinian state in Eretz Yisrael and instead take mastery over the ownerless areas now under its control. The various experts in their respective fields explained how this course of action is indicated from the standpoints of Torah, international law, demographics, Israeli security, the well-being of both the Jewish and Arab inhabitants, and more.

Many speakers mentioned the recently released Levy Report that details the legal basis for Jewish settlement throughout Judea and Samaria. Cabinet Minister Rabbi Dr. Daniel Herskovitz and Knesset Member Tzipi Hotovely both called for the report to be made into law, meaning that all Israeli building and construction laws would be applied to Yesha in place of the military regulations that currently apply. In addition, land disputes in Yesha would be adjudicated in regular courts, and not in the Supreme Court or by the defense minister.

Rabbi Uziyahu Sharbaf, head of a kollel in Hebron, detailed the Torah basis for the demand for sovereignty in the entire Land of Israel. Scripture, he pointed out, shows that God chose the Land of Israel just as He chose the nation of Israel, and the latter cannot exist in its entirety if the former is not complete.

“Let’s not fall into the trap of what’s considered ‘practical,’” he proclaimed. “The deep truth is eternal. We must continue to redeem and build the land as much as we can, until the government of Israel realizes that it is its responsibility to redeem the entire land.”

Yoram Ettinger, consultant to Israeli legislators on U.S. policy and U.S.-Israel bilateral projects, made the case that the demographic “scare” is a bluff. Introduced by Matar as an “indefatigable optimist,” Ettinger responded, “Not at all; I’m simply a realist. The famous Jewish demographer in Herzl’s time, Simon Dubnow, tried to scare Herzl in 1898 by telling him that within a century there would be no more than half a million Jews in what is now Israel. Fortunately, Herzl did not listen… Today, as well, despite what we are often told, the demographics are in our favor.”

Ettinger said the number of Arabs between the Mediterranean and the Jordan are exaggerated by up to a million, due to double counting and counting of absentees.

MK Uri Ariel and Emanuel Shilo, the editor of the weekly B’Sheva newspaper, were among the minority who proposed not rushing to apply sovereignty over Yesha in its entirety but rather working in stages. Shilo said sovereignty should begin in the Jordan Valley.

“I don’t agree with those who say we should begin with the areas that everyone agrees will remain ours, such as Maaleh Adumim,” he said. “These places are part of our struggle, so why should we lose them and all their advantages in our fight for all of Yesha?

“We should rather start with places that stand to be at the center of negotiations. Netanyahu has already hinted that the critical Jordan Valley – our border with Jordan – will remain under ‘IDF control’ for a ‘number of years.’ He is not talking about forever, and he is not talking about Jews living there. The Jordan Valley must be our first battleground.”

Event organizer Yehudit Katzover of Kiryat Arba said it is time Jews stopped having to put out individual fires lit by those who believe Jews do not belong in Judea and Samaria: “At present, Beit El has to deal with Givat HaUlpena, Kiryat Arba has to worry about Jewish buildings legally purchased in Hebron, Eli has to take care of its homes deemed illegal – every community is left to its own devices. There must be one, comprehensive Israeli law that governs all of Israel.”

Conference on Annexing Judea and Samaria Draws Big Names, Big Turnout

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Hundreds of Israelis from across Israel gathered in Hebron last Thursday to participate in the Conference for the Application of Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, and to hear a growing cadre of politicians, experts, and opinion-makers discuss their perspective on how to realize this goal.

The Conference, the second of its kind organized by Women in Green, saw a speaker list that appears to reflect a sense that annexation of Judea and Samaria is an increasingly viable option. Beyond the attendance of the expected nationalist politicians – like government minister and Chairman of Habayit Hayehudi Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, National Union MK Uri Ariel, and Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely – also appearing were Caroline Glick, a senior editor at the Jerusalem Post; Yoram Ettinger, former Israeli ambassador to Washington; and Eran Bar-Tal, the economic editor of the Makor Rishon newspaper, among many others.

Long dismissed as a revisionist fantasy of the extreme nationalist camp, the idea of annexation is gaining traction in mainstream society, as more and more Israelis question the wisdom and validity of the ‘two state solution’ paradigm. The commission and release of the Levy Report appears to be one such manifestation of this shift.

At the Conference, which was held in the hall adjoining the Machpelah Cave, each speaker offered their own perspectives on annexation. Minister Hershkovitz insisted on the application of Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria and not only over the communities of Area C. In what appeared to be a jab at the annexation plan put forward by Naftali Bennett – who is running against Hershkowitz for chairmanship of Habayit Hayehudi – Hershkowitz said that the application of sovereignty over anything less than all of Judea and Samaria will be interpreted by the other side as an admission of surrender over certain parts of the area. Glick agreed with Hershkowitz, saying that “the cost will be the same cost, so it would be a shame to pay it for half the job….”

Bar-Tal, speaking from an economic perspective, dismissed the scare tactics of the left regarding the economic repercussions of annexation, and stated that in fact annexation would strengthen Israel’s economy.

Yitzhak Bam of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel analyzed the legal reality in Judea and Samaria, and – in concurrence with the Levy Report – stated that the issue of the application of sovereignty is not a legal question, but purely political, since there is no other sovereign authority that demands the return of the territory to it, and, in practice, there is a sort of “sovereignty vacuum” in Judea and Samaria.

But perhaps most stirring was the video message by Israel Prize laureate and former MK Geulah Cohen, who told of her parliamentary struggle to annex east Jerusalem, which began as a private initiative, and -after her tireless efforts- was finally passed by the Knesset on July 30, 1980.

Nadia Matar, who along with Yehudit Katsover organized the Conference, said: “We were greatly inspired by Geula. She talked about the denunciations she endured during that process. At the time people mocked her, just like they’re mocking us now.

“‘The sky didn’t fall’ when the law was passed,’ ” Matar recounted Cohen saying, “despite the propaganda employed by those opposed to the annexation.”

Cohen related how Teddy Kollek, then-mayor of Jerusalem, warned her that there would be an avalanche of international condemnation and isolation. Yes, foreign governments moved their embassies out of Jerusalem, she said, but if that’s the cost of asserting sovereignty over the Land of Israel, its a worthwhile cost.

Katsover and Matar said that that they plan on capitalizing on the momentum by enlisting more public figures and citizens to bear on the Knesset to advance the law for sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.

“Just like we now express surprise that Israel did not have sovereignty over east jerusalem and the Golan Heights, so our children will express surprise that once we did not have sovereignty over Judea and Samaria,” Matar said.

 

Mashiach, Mashiach, Mashiach, Da Da Da Da DaDa

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Who is Mashiach? What is Mashiach? What’s he all about? Strange as it may seem, we learn about Mashiach from the wicked Bilaam, in the Torah portion of Balak. While the verses are obscure, the Rambam explains them in The Laws of Kings and Their Wars. Since many Diasporians picture the Mashiach to be some type of fairytale hero who will whisk them back to Israel on some kind of magical carpet when he flies down to earth dressed like Superman, with super powers and X-ray vision, we will try to present a more realistic, down-to-earth picture.

The name Mashiach (often translated as the Messiah) is derived from a Hebrew word meaning the “anointed one” – Hashem’s anointed king. The belief in the Mashiach’s coming is one of the Thirteen Fundamental Principles of our faith (13 Principles of the Rambam, Principle 12). Since in our very time, the Almighty has been gathering our scattered exiles to Israel from all over the globe, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook made a point to explain the concept of Mashiach to his students at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, emphasizing that the Mashiach wasn’t only the ideal Jewish king, but also a gradually developmental process which evolves over time.

The Rambam writes:

“Anyone who does not believe in the Mashiach, or who does not anticipate his coming, not only denies all of the prophets, he denies the validity of the Torah and Moshe Rabenu, our teacher, since the Torah gives witness to him, as it says, ‘When all these things will come upon you (all the tribulations of exile), then the Lord your God will turn your captivity and have compassion on you, and return and gather you from the nations’” (Rambam, Laws of Kings and Their Wars, 11:1).

Believing in the Torah means believing in the Mashiach and yearning for his arrival. As part of the 13 Principles of Faith, we say, “I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Mashiach, and even though he may delay, nevertheless, I look forward to his coming every day.”

This means that when a Jew in the Diaspora is eating a bagel and lox and reading The New York Times, or The Jewish Press, or when he’s going to watch the new Woody Allen movie on Motzei Shabbat, he should be yearning for the Mashiach to come. In the Gemara, Shabbat, it is written, “At the hour when a man faces heavenly judgment, they say to him, did you yearn for the salvation of Israel?” (Shabbat 31A). Yearning for the coming of Mashiach, and the salvation he will bring, is complete Emunah/faith. Thus, the Ramban writes, someone who does not believe in him, or anticipate his coming, denies the prophets of Israel and Moshe, our teacher, since the Torah gives witness to him.

How does the Torah give witness to him? The Rambam answers with the verse, “When all these things will come upon you (all the tribulations of exile), then the Lord your God will turn your captivity and have compassion on you, and return and gather you from the nations” (Devarim, 30:1-3).

Please notice, my friends, that the ingathering of the exiles is proof of the Mashiach. As the Rambam makes clear, the incredible ingathering of our outcasts to the Land of Israel, an occurrence we have witness in our time, this is a revelation of Mashiach, an actual stage in the days of Mashiach, through the concrete aliyah of Jews from all over the globe, and not through miracles.

During the long generation we spent in galut, Mashiach became a misunderstood concept. Partly due to the pernicious infiltration of Xtian doctrines into our collective subconscious, Mashiach was envisioned by many people as a religious superhero who would arrive on the scene in a flash of miracles and wonders, and lead all the Jews out of the ghetto and back to the Promised Land. Helpless and impotent in galut, and constantly at the mercies of the goyim and their governments, we had no way of actualizing our dreams of returning to Zion, and thus this Superman fantasy of Mashiach seemed to be the only way we could be redeemed from the harsh realities of our lives. When centuries passed in waiting and disappointment, a philosophy of passivity arose. We were to pray and wait, and the Mashiach would do all the work when he came. The demand arose that the Redemption occur all at once, and be complete from the start, and not in a gradual, natural, process of historical development and events which came to completion with the passage of time (See our book, Torat Eretz Yisrael, Chapters 11 and 12, from which this essay is condensed.)

High Walls and Golden Domes

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Amid the recent rocket barrage that has terrorized southern Israel, the Israeli defense community – as well as the general public – has been consoled by the resounding success of the “Iron Dome”, which is reported to have successfully intercepted 85% of all incoming Grad rockets. On the surface, this “good news” offers not only respite from the fear and trauma that permeates Israeli society today, but also offers a much-needed sense of security. In reality though, the Iron Dome represents a total failure of vision and the concept of deterrence for the state of Israel. That is, we wait for our enemies to attack before demonstrating our strength, militarily and morally; and the only measure of success is the effectiveness of our reaction.

No one can deny that the Iron Dome represents a revolution in modern warfare, but this cannot obscure the critical fact that it entrenches a political myopia that has dire ramifications for military strategy. Considering that each Iron Dome battery costs an estimated $50 million, and each missile costs between $70,000-$100,000, the long-term cost for its continued deployment suggests that it should be renamed the “Golden Dome.” Moreover, defense officials have said that Israel needs to deploy at least 13 batteries to effectively safeguard against rockets fired from Gaza and Lebanon. It currently only has three operational batteries, all in the south.

Proponents of the Iron Dome laud the fact that it is able to determine a rocket’s probable target and then decide if it is worth sending one of these costly anti-missiles to protect civilians or let the rocket destroy “a few crops or trees.” Still, our sense of sovereignty is so eroded that we resign ourselves to the violent encroachment on our land by Gaza terrorists, while our sense of power is derived narrowly from our ability to determine the extent of the damage.

A state cannot accept such daily encroachments on its sovereignty as a fait accompli, but the Iron Dome – as well as the separation barrier – has succeeded in normalizing diminished sovereignty and reframing the issue from eliminating the threat to containing it. Indeed, both the Iron Dome and the barrier save lives, but Israel can ill-afford for these these limited “victories” to serve as a substitute for an actual strategy.

The Iron Dome is another, hi-tech manifestation of the siege mentality that guides Israel’s cultural and political narrative. From media to academia to politics, Israel’s celebration of this so-called “strategic” weapon system – that neither neutralizes its threats nor enhances Israel’s geo-political position – is an indictment of the degree to which Israel has accepted this siege mentality, and of its resignation to a permanent defensive posture. Instead of tools of victory, Israel designs modes of survival, where a siege in our backyards and playgrounds is preferable to a frontal assault on our enemies in their territory. But it is only with a proactive outlook and with offensive instrumentalities that threats are neutralized or deterred. Seen through this lens, Israel only truly enjoyed such a posture in the six years between its preemptive Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War.

Iron Dome may represent a new layer of defense, but it in no way brings Israel closer to eliminating the threats emanating from Gaza. Rather, it only keeps us on par with them: our military-technological innovation combating their blockade-busting, weapons-procuring creativity. Wars are not won by repelling attacks, but by taking the initiative. A nation should never make the mistake of believing that such defensive weapons can shield it from overwhelming force. Overwhelming force must always be countered with overwhelming force. Israel’s isolated regional position demands a new paradigm of deterrence, one that Israel can and will employ on an asymmetric battlefield, one that will dominate its enemies and take the battle to them.

Having the right political and military posture requires as a prerequisite cultural vigor that promotes initiative and rewards risk-taking. Yes, Israelis are known for these qualities, but of late they have been employed primarily for defensive purposes. Only by a true recognition and reassertion of its sovereignty in what is clearly a Just War – where inaction and/or passive defense has far worse results than the bellicose but hollow accusation of “disproportionate response” – will circumstances change for Israel.

There are various initiatives that Israel could undertake, depending on what one considers Israel’s greatest threats. They range from reoccupying a buffer area in Gaza and deploying the Iron Dome from within Palestinian territory, to intensifying investment in its UAV and space programs for the purpose of effective cryptologic intelligence-gathering and weaponization. Whatever the direction, it must be forward-thinking and strategic in nature. Israel’s instrumentalities of power should force the enemy to adapt to it, and not vice versa, as with the Iron Dome.

This is the only way to break a siege, not by building one’s walls higher, but by making one’s reach greater and more devastating. Iron Dome, despite the great technology involved and tactical advantages it provides, does neither.

Israel, Vatican Reach Agreement on Sovereignty Issues

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

In understandings reached last weekend between Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and his counterpart from the Vatican, the Church renounced its demand for sovereignty over the location of the “Last Supper” on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. In addition, the Vatican agreed that it would start paying property tax on properties in Israel. In return, Israel agreed to consider giving the Vatican first priority in leasing opportunities and access to the site.

The agreement was the culmination of almost two decades of negotiations between Israel and the Vatican.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-vatican-reach-agreement-on-sovereignty-issues/2012/01/31/

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