March/April 2000

The Papal Visit 2000 - A Retrospective

While the Jewish people worldwide, the nation of Israel, Christians, and Muslims debate the significance of the Pope's Mid-East visit, we give our own assessment herein, offered after examining both the preamble and the aftermath of that visit:
PREAMBLE: from the Jordan Times, October 15th 1998 (more than a year before the signing of the Covenant of February 15, 2000 between the Vatican and Arafat as head of the "Palestinian Autonomy" to "prevent the Judiaziation of Jerusalem"...boiling down of a denial of Israel's historical, religious and legal claim to Jerusalem as it's Capitol):

The Aftermath: The interpretation of this Palestinian Authority Web site.


The purpose of the Vatican was, and is, to establish a false claim , not by Christendom, but firstly by the Roman Catholic Church, to Jerusalem, and secondarily by Islam, and thirdly by the entire ungodly world.

This is to be achieved by linking the Vatican's proposal with the United Nations, the majority of whose nations are anti-semitic and anti-Zionist ; the result being guaranteed even before the UN vote which is yet to come. This analysis also explains why Arafat and the PA now want to abandon UN Resolutions 242 and 338 (on which they have fully insisted for more than 30 years) in favour of reverting to the 1947 UN Resolution 181 "For the Partitioning of Palestine". Why ? Because Resolution 181 (which the Arab world rejected) would yield the Arabs more land than presently foreseen...and because Resolution 181 Internationalized Jerusalem and surrounding areas... THUS PREVENTING ISRAEL'S claim !

Remember...the Jewish Diaspora (exile) was directing their prayers toward Jerusalem for 13 centuries before there was an Islam.
Remember also: muslims today, in Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount, turn and pray towards Mecca, their true Holy City.

Vatican Jostles for Role in Jerusalem Talks

Jordan Times, October 15, 1998

The Vatican has reiterated its desire for a role in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians over the future of Jerusalem. Speaking during a symposium organized by Jerusalem's Latin Patriarchate on October 26, Vatican Foreign Minister Jean-Louis Tauran said: "The Holy See believes that it's important for its representative to sit at the negotiating table to make sure that they are fair and that no aspect of the problems will be forgotten". Tauran repeated the Vatican's view that Israel was illegally occupying Jerusalem, and called for the city to become the "symbol and national centre" of Israelis and Palestinians. The recent agreement signed in Washington brings closer the "final status" issues. Among them, Jerusalem promises to be the most contentious. Israel continues to insist that the city remain its "eternal and undivided" capital, while the Palestinians have made it clear they see no settlement with the Jewish state that does not involve Jerusalem as capital of a future Palestinian state. The Vatican, incidentally, is ready to recognize such a state, according to its charge d'affaires in Jordan, Monsignor Dominique Rezeau. "As we recognized the state of Israel, we will be ready to recognize the state of Palestine as part of the rest of the world community," he said.

Also See Our Section;

Whose Jerusalem ?  Whose Land ?


PA Web site
April 2, 2000
The visit of His Holiness John Paul II to Palestine represents a real historical event for a series of reasons.

The first one is undoubtedly that Palestine is, by essence, the Holy Land, and the original cradle of the Christian message. Thus, not only do Christian Palestinians consider themselves as the direct descendants and spiritual heirs of the first Christians, but Palestinian Moslems themselves cherish this dimension of the common motherland, see in it a source of pride and an irreplaceable component of their heritage and their identity.

The second one is that this visit of the Pontiff is the first in History which consecrates the authority, that is to say the sovereignty, of the Palestinian People on its land. President Arafat has indeed met more than once in the past with the Holy Father, but this was the first encounter on Palestinian soil, on the territory of the Palestinian State. In this sense, his visit is worth a thousand recognitions, and needs no comment.

But, above all, this visit was preceded by the historical agreement signed last month between the Holy See and the PLO, which consecrates, amongst other things, Palestinian legitimacy in Jerusalem. This agreement affirms the support of the Holy See for the legitimate rights of our people, and stresses the need to found the search for peace on the letter and the spirit of international law. By recognizing that the issue of sovereignty in Jerusalem - a question left open by international law - is listed on the agenda of negotiations over the permanent status of the occupied Palestinian territory, the agreement contradicts the |Israeli claims to perpetuate the illegal annexation of the Holy City, and at the same time consecrates the representativity and legitimacy of the PLO to speak on behalf of Jerusalem Palestinians.

This visit, therefore, had a double cultural and political dimension, at a crucial moment in the history of the Palestinian people and its long march towards peace and justice. It also had, undoubtedly, a spiritual dimension. The Holy Father has wanted to place it under the sign of Forgiveness, and we know well how difficult forgiveness is. How hard it is to recognize one's faults and apologize for them, how hard it is to forgive the offences inflicted upon us. This, however, is an essential message, the relevance of which should not be underestimated, and of which the peoples of our area, torn for generations by violence and wars, exodus and occupations, have a vital need. For the "Peace of the Brave" will not be able to strike roots in the hearts of the peoples of this area unless reconciliation occurs, and that requires great moral courage.

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