Peace, Jerusalem, the Vatican and the Holy Sites

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Secretary of State John Kerry has quietly presented a U.S. plan for eastern Jerusalem that calls for an international administrative mandate to control Jerusalem and holy sites in the area, according to informed Palestinian and Israeli diplomatic sources.

The exact composition of the international mandate is up for discussion, the sources said, but Kerry’s plan recommended declaring Jerusalem and the holy sites an international heritage site and placing the city and holy sites under a UN Mandate controlled by a coalition that includes the Vatican, together with Jordan and Israel.

The international arrangement would see they city with the status as a kind of American District of Columbia and the capitol of BOTH Israel and the Palestinian state, with the city administered by the UN Mandate.

Israel would slowly give up sovereignty over two to three years to the UN Mandate while security arrangements in Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians are put in place.

The far right settlement members of the Israeli governing coalition,  was not receptive to the particulars of Kerry’s plan,  but the center and left peace parties were in favor. Kerry told the Israelis he would hold talks with the Kingdom of Jordan about its playing a leading role in the proposal and the pope is due to discuss these matters on his March 25 visit to the region.

The Obama plan also calls for resolving the two thorniest issues in the conflict by sharing Jerusalem and settling Arab refugees in Arab countries or a future Palestinian state, but not in Israel. According to Obama, the Old City of Jerusalem would be designated an “international zone”.

Israel’s President Shimon Peres, who has no authority, also pushed for many years  to hand over to the Vatican the sovereignty over Jerusalem and the holy sites.

In 2006, then Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, agreed to give the “holy basin” to the Vatican.  At the time, President Moshe Katzav, in the face of increasing public pressure, was forced to deny any plans to sign away the King David’s complex and pother holy sites in Jerusalem.

“Peace negotiations in the Middle East must tackle the issue of the status of the holy sites of Jerusalem”, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Vatican’s Council for Interreligious Dialogue, declared several days ago in Rome.

The Vatican’s former foreign minister asked to place some Israeli holy places under direct Vatican authority, alluding to the Cenacle on Mount Zion and the garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

The first site also houses what is referred to as King David’s tomb.

“There will not be peace if the question of the holy sites is not adequately resolved”, Tauran said. “The part of Jerusalem within the walls – with the holy sites of the three religions – is humanity’s heritage. The sacred and unique character of the area must be safeguarded and it can only be done with a special, internationally-guaranteed statute”.

The Israeli government and the Vatican are deadlocked in discussions over the status of the religious sites sought by the Vatican for their direct control; besides those to be given to the UN Mandate.

Vatican officials are now reiterating their demand for control over the religious sites in the ancient and holy city founded by King David as the capital of ancient Israel and now the capital of the reestablished Jewish state.

The Vatican is demanding direct control over what it sees as “Christian” sites; with the other two religions having control over their sites; and disputed sites administered by a joint commission.

The sides are very close to a peace deal by the end of April, to be tabled in the Israeli cabinet after the Passover break.

The far right settler movement is dead set against the plan now being negotiated by Livni, the same deal as Livni had agreed in the past under Ehud Barak and which the Palestinians could not respond to because of the resignation of Barak and his trial on corruption charges.  

The tabling of this deal which is totally unacceptable to the settler movement parties, would bring down the governing coalition in Israel and could prompt new elections which would be won by the peace parties.

It appears that a peace deal, or at least the broad outlines of one, will be presented to cabinet after the Passover recess; which is likely to bring down the government. 

Then a regional war is likely as the largest Allied armada to date gathers off Iran and Syria for May, 2014.  

This is likely to be followed by Israeli elections and a new government composed of peace supporters, and approval in the new coalition, to be followed by approval in the Knesset and then a national referendum in Israel.

Then when the final abomination, the final pope is empowered to do miracles as the scriptures warn; then he will go to the holy place within 75 days of being set up; bringing a furious backlash from the Settler Movement and triggering the occupation of Jerusalem and the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” which will last for 1,260 days.

The extremist Settler Movement anti peace deal Israelis, will not sit back and do nothing, and will do their best to sabotage the peace deal as it is achieved, 1 Thess 5:3, Rev 11:2,  Dan 12:7.

 

 

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