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Call for Public Awareness as Israel Threatens to Hand Over Mt. Zion Complex and Tomb of King David to the Vatican as Political Gift to the Pope


JERUSALEM, Israel (PRWeb) December 14, 2006 -- The 'Committee to Save Mt. Zion' wishes to alert the public that the Mt. Zion complex in Jerusalem may be handed over to the Vatican as a political gift to the Pope, ending Jewish sovereignty to the Tomb of King David, a traditional site of pilgrimage for persons of all religions and backgrounds; the Catholic Church has been seeking ownership of the location since 1920.

In October 2005, 'The Times of London' reported that Israel was about to hand over control of the reputed 'last supper room' in a building on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. But due to public pressure, protests, political discussions, and the revealment of suspicious documents, the hand over was halted.

The recent December 2006 threatened handover came to the attention of the Committee to Save Mt. Zion via recent Italian news sources that indicated the Mt. Zion complex is on the agenda for negotiations between the Vatican and Israel. And that it will be a topic of conversation between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the Pope on Olmert's recent visit to Rome.

In a statement released to the media, the Committee stated that they find the subject of a handover of the Mt. Zion complex unacceptable. "We speak for Jews, Protestants and even Muslims that all revere the site as a place of pilgrimage, we don't want the Catholic Church to seize what has been a site of pilgrimage and turn it into the Eastern Vatican," said, Rick Halpern, a developer who is voluntarily working to restore major adjoining areas of Mt. Zion. He added, "We are having emergency meetings with members of the Jerusalem City Council, and we will use all democratic and legal means to oppose any agreement with the Vatican over the area in, around, or above the traditional Tomb of King David."

"Mt. Zion is a Jewish treasure," said Ellen Horowitz, an Israeli author and member of the Committee. "Although Israel's ambassador to the Vatican, Oded Ben Hur, denies any such negotiations over the Upper Room/Cenacle Shrine--Catholic and Vatican news sources continue to relentlessly promote such a concept," Horowitz added.

Among the requests of the Committee, they require assurances that the Mt. Zion complex, including King David's Tomb and the Diaspora Yeshiva Rabbinical School campus will not be infringed upon, nor will the Jewish nature and environment of the area be disturbed by Catholic religious rituals and services.

The Committee to Save Mt. Zion was established by the 'International Sephardic Leadership Council' during the previous threatened hand over to the Vatican in 2005. The Committee is made up of professionals, educators, media personalities, authors, historians, writers and Jewish leaders in both Israel and the North America. All persons of all backgrounds and religions that interested in saving Mt. Zion should join the 'Save Zion' email list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/savezion/ and visit http://www.sephardiccouncil.org/zion.html for further information.

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