Here is a situation of which the Jewish public needs to be aware. Here is the history...
Heads of churches in Jerusalem on [September 4, 2017] criticized what they see as a breach of the status quo in the capital, claiming there is a “systematic attempt to undermine the integrity of the Holy City of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and to weaken the Christian presence.”A little over a year on, US Congressmen have answered the Churches' call for help:
In a joint statement the leaders said, “We now find ourselves united once again in condemning recent further encroachment on the status quo,” the churches said. “In such matters as this, the Heads of the Churches are resolute and united in our opposition to any action by any authority or group that undermines those laws, agreements, and regulations that have ordered our life for centuries.” [Meaning, before the Holy Land returned to Jewish sovereignty.]
The church leaders are referring to two contentious issues that surfaced in recent months.
The first is a Jerusalem District Court ruling from last month saying that the purchase of three major compounds adjacent to Jaffa Gate in the Old City were carried out legally, and as a result, were transferred from the Greek-Orthodox church to the rightwing NGO Ateret Kohanim Yeshiva, according to a Maariv report.
The second issue is a bill proposed by the Kulanu MK Rachel Azaria which is signed by 39 other MKs across the political spectrum, that seeks to nationalize lands owned by churches in west Jerusalem and sold to private entrepreneurs.
The bill aims to prevent exploitation of residents who live on these properties. [Primarily Jews.]
Churches leased the disputed properties in west Jerusalem to the Jewish National Fund, mainly in the 1950s, parts of which it sold to residents living there. In the next 20-50 years the lease periods will end, and the churches have reportedly sold parcels of the land to private entrepreneurs – a deal that affects the residents, and creates future uncertainty.
It was reported that even now – before the lease periods have ended – the residents are facing uncertainty over mortgage and making upgrades to properties, such as installing an elevator in buildings.
The bill proposes to compensate all sides that would be harmed from the nationalizing of land.
The churches statement is signed by senior Christian leaders of Jerusalem, including Greek Patriarch Theophilos III; Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Nourhan Manougian; Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa; and Archbishop Aba Embakob of the Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate.
The heads of churches added that they call on world leaders to intervene and help them protect the status quo.
“We therefore, as those to whom Divine Providence has entrusted the care of both the holy sites and the pastoral oversight of the living, indigenous Christian communities of the Holy Land, call upon our fellow Church leaders and faithful around the world, as well as the heads of governments, and all people of good will, to support us in order to ensure that no further attempts are made from any quarter to change the historical status quo and its provisions and spirit,” the statement reads.
“We cannot stress strongly enough the very serious situation that this recent systematic assault on the status quo has had on the integrity of Jerusalem and on the well-being of the Christian communities of the Holy Land, as well as on the stability of our society,” it adds.
Azaria, who is also a former Jerusalem city councilwoman, told The Jerusalem Post in response to the letter that the she intends to protect the residents living on the disputed lands, and has no intentions to weaken the Christian presence in the capital.
“The land ownership bill I initiated has one goal only: to protect the residents. There is a group of wealthy entrepreneurs that bought the land from the church and thousands of residents in Jerusalem can find themselves homeless, after they purchased their homes fair and square,” she said.
“This law is not a breach of the status quo mainly because it does not apply to church-owned lands, but only to the lands bought by real estate entrepreneurs,” she added. (Source)
Related Issue: Jerusalem seeks end to tax breaks on church-owned properties
City council says exemptions wrongly given to commercial real estate owned by Christian institutions
Israel suspends plan to tax Jerusalem church properties
A bipartisan group of US lawmakers, including a top democratic senator and seven congressmen, has sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo protesting Israel’s advancement of the so-called "properties bill," which aims to nationalize properties used for housing that were owned by the church and sold to private entrepreneurs.
[See letter here.]
...“We are concerned that this bill threatens the sustainability of the historic Christian presence in Jerusalem,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Pompeo, obtained by The Jerusalem Post.
Kulanu MK Rachel Azaria proposed the bill, signed by 61 lawmakers, in response to the Greek Orthodox Church’s recent sale of its control of 50 hectares (about 124 acres) of land in the capital, containing more than 1,000 housing units, to an anonymous group of investors.
Azaria’s bill proposes that the rights to land leased to the JNF or anyone else by the Greek Orthodox Church, and then sold, will go to the state. The state will compensate whomever bought the rights from the church.
The lawmakers wrote that if the bill proceeds, it will make it “impossible for the churches to continue to deliver their ministry within the wider community.”
[This is a nonsensical claim based on nothing.]
They asked that the US government do everything “within its power to work with the government of Israel to resolve this matter and ensure a lasting resolution of the church properties issue.”Just like in the matter of taxes in the "related issue" above, this "Jewish" government in the "Jewish" State has once again set aside the protection of "Jewish" rights and "Jewish" life in favor of kowtowing to the demands of the nations. Netanyahu is the most spineless leader ever to sit in the Prime Minister's office! His constant capitulation is shameful!
In the most recent letter sent by Netanyahu to the church leader in July, he told them "since receiving your letter, Minister Tzahi Hanegbi has met with representatives of relevant government ministries in order to study the issues and to explore an equitable solution. He has also recommended that the specific legislation in question be withdrawn."
[Another related issue: US Ambassador for Religious Freedom]
So who looks out for Jewish interests? ONLY HaKadosh Baruch Hu!