The former head of Israel’s Reform movement has called on the Israeli government to cede part of the David’s Tomb compount, located on Mount Zion, to the Catholic church.
“Rabbi” Uri Regev, the former director of the Israel Reform Action Committee and now the head of the Hiddush- Freedom of Religion for Israel NGO, said in a press release that ceding control of the Last Supper Room, located one floor above the site that many Jews believe is the burial spot of King David, could be a “forward looking gesture” that could give the Jewish People ability “to move beyond past disputes and persecutions … experienced in specific Christian and Muslim communities throughout generations.
However, Mr Regev stopped short of making similar demands of the Vatican to return religious objects and manuscripts stolen from Jewish communities around Europe, beginning with the beginning of the Chrstian era nearly 2000 years ago. Instead, Regev said he “expects” the church to make “similar gestures towards the Jewish community, such as returning the Jewish cultural and religious treasures looted from Jewish communities throughout history that are now stored in the Vatican.”
The Vatican is believed to posses cups, gold, the Menorah and other vessels stolen from the Beit Hamikdash during the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70. The church is also believed manuscripts writen by Maimonides and other medieval rabbinic authorities.
Church officials continue to deny researchers access to Vatican archives and storage vaults.