Thursday, December 14, 2006

Israel Threatens to Hand Over Mt. Zion Complex and Tomb of King David to the Vatican

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Point of contact: Ellen Horowitz: ellenwrite(at)bezeqint.net
Committee to Save Mt. Zion (Int. Sephardic Leadership Council)

JERUSALEM, Israel (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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