The Vatican is to sign a treaty formally recognizing an entity called ‘the State of Palestine’. It is a big mistake. It is likely to lead to war, disputes and further injustice. Is the pope ignorant or has he lost his balance? He called PLO leader and Holocaust-denier Mahmoud Abbas ‘an angel of peace’ and gave him a medal.
Angel? Do angels tell the truth? Abbas (war name or kunya: Abu Mazen) wrote a holocaust-denying PhD in Moscow of the USSR as part of a Cold War disinformation campaign. The book is still reprinted and in circulation. No retraction. Abbas wants a Jew-free State. Is the pope’s commendation for Holocaust-denial and a Nazi-style Judenrein State the sort of moral conduct Europeans would expect from a religious leader?
Peace? Would any right-minded person call Abbas who glorifies hijackers of a public bus who killed in cold blood 37 people (12 of them children) ‘an angel of peace’? Just a few weeks ago Abbas celebrated the March 1978 coastal road massacre in his Facebook post addressed to Israelis! He even exaggerated the bloody gore by saying there were 80 victims. He then told Israelis that ‘they should take their body parts and leave! The Vatican can hardly be unaware of this and other devilish remarks about murders or his fellow ‘Palestinians‘ in Syria.
The Vatican is not a member of the UN, nor was it a member of the earlier League of Nations. As a Permanent Observer State, a status granted in 1964, it maintains that ‘ its only competency is in elucidation of questions of principle in morality and public international law.‘
The so-called ‘State of Palestine’ has no elected government, no defined borders and is in cahoots with terrorist organizations like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood vowed to destroy Israel. In their constitutions, the PA’s National Covenant and Fatah’s Charter maintains a similar objective. What would a PA State look like? Even at present the PA has a law that any Arab selling land to a Jew will be killed.
It took a pope like John-Paul II to recognize Israeli statehood! When? 1994! Nearly a half century late! Why? Is the Vatican’s bizarre move now due to a resurgence of antisemitism to sideline the State of Israel?
It is shocking to normal, outside observers that the Vatican — which should know something about the history of Israel and be familiar with the Bible — is showing such deplorable ignorance about both. Worse, such a treaty would likely ignite and stoke up further violence and war in the Near East. This move also shows that the present Vatican leaders have lost touch with basic principles of moral philosophy.
Let’s assume the technical ‘Palestine’ government of Fatah and Hamas exists. What then is the purpose for the Vatican to sign a treaty with a group allied to Hamas which openly proclaims its objective as the destruction of Israel and the Jews?
What would be the purpose of signing a treaty with Abbas whose corrupt regime trains children to become martyrs by killing Jews, glorifies jihadis and celebrates them in public monuments and sport? Would that be morally acceptable in streets of Rome?
Let’s turn to international law.
All States who joined the UN agreed to abide by the international law established by the League of Nations. That included the recognition of the historical borders of the Land of Israel.
Israel owes its international law recognition, not just to the UK’s Balfour Declaration of the Lloyd George government but principally the decision taken by the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers at San Remo, on 24 April 1920. The Jewish State was thus incorporated into law of the Treaty of Sèvres. Recognition became part of the conditional entrance requirements of the League and the later United Nations. This is a recognition of long-standing, continuous, undisputed rights, not a grant by other States. Like Britain it has been recognized as a 3000 year-old independent State, regardless of invasions.
All Arab States subscribed to this when they became members of the UN. Indeed the very existence of those States relies on a similar, parallel process of international law. Deny one and they also deny their own existence!
What did those same Arab States do in 1948? They illegally declared war on the newly proclaimed State of Israel. Seven national armies, Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, tried to march into this territory ILLEGALLY in unprovoked war. The Arabs living inside western Palestine were not planning an attack. The armies invaded an area that the United Nations still referred to as ‘Judea and Samaria’.
Yes, Arab Muslim armies illegally invaded an area where Jews lived called Judea! This is one reason why Arab oil-fed propaganda after the 1967 Six Day War wanted to change the name of Judea and Samaria to ‘West Bank’. How could they influence world public opinion by accusing Jews of illegally occupying Judea?
Judea became illegally occupied by Jordan.
(Jordan was initially called Transjordan. On the East Bank of the Jordan river, TRANS-Jordan indicates it was a transitory arrangement of the 1920s. It was trans, meaning across but still part of Israel, being across the Jordan from Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.) Jordan’s ‘king’ was hardly ‘legal’. The usurping Wahabite ‘king’ Saud had earlier expelled the Hashemites from Saudi Arabia!
The term ‘Palestine’ in 1948, both before and for many years afterwards, meant the Land of Israel. ‘Palestinian’ meant ‘Jews’ of Israel. No Arab State called ‘Palestine’ ever existed in history. (Only in the 1960s did the concept of ‘Arab Palestine’ arise, thanks to Egyptian and Soviet disinformation services.) Before this Arabs called themselves ‘southern Syrians’ or identified by name as Egyptians, Syrians, Saudis etc. They still do.
What’s in it for the Vatican? Is it claiming title to property it occupies in Israel? Does it still believe it has rights to tax-free extra-territoriality for the places it occupies? Does it still want Jerusalem (Israel’s capital since 1967!) to become an international City under its control and influence? Is that why the Vatican refuses to recognize the ‘eastern’ parts of Jerusalem as being part of Israel? Israeli officials pose the question: ‘What makes the Roman Catholic Church different from all the other nominally Christian churches?’
Does the Vatican move completely reject international law and justice?
A treaty with Palestinian Arabs puts the Vatican in the same thieving camp as some Muslim Arabs. Let me explain. One Arab proudly boasted that the property he had was legitimately his because it had been given to his forefathers by Saladin. Saladin was a foreign military invader. This Kurdish leader, born in Tikrit, who founded the Ayyubid dynasty in the twelfth century was proclaimed sultan of Egypt and Syria. He conquered Syria and fought the Crusaders.
Saladin, like the Romans before him, had no legal rights. During this process he killed some Jewish inhabitants of Palestine. That does not make property transfer legitimate. Saladin is no more. Neither is the bloody sword of his caliphate. Property belongs to the Jewish families from whence it was taken.
The Crusaders probably killed far more Jews. They burned the Jerusalem synagogue to the ground. They gave Jewish property to the Roman church.
So which of the two, Saladin or the Crusaders, really owned the land? Obviously neither. They merely dispossessed or killed some of the rightful owners whose families had lived there for three thousand years. The Greeks, Syrians, Romans, Islamic and Mongol hordes, Ottoman Turks did the same.
The Crusaders of the twelfth century may well have built the so-called Tomb of David. Above it is the Cenacle, also claimed by the Vatican. It is falsely called the Upper Room of the New Testament. (It was nowhere near there!)
You do not have to be a Permanent Observer at the United Nations with a self-given remit for morality and international public law to conclude that the Vatican has no legal right to this property or any other given by the Crusaders.
Is the pope a descendant of Jewish King David? No, he claims he is a Non-Jew, of Italian extraction from Argentina. Does the Roman church (among all the other churches) have any claim to Davidic property? No. Legally the property stays in the Davidic and Jewish family. There was no corporate ownership in Israel in biblical times. Nor is Rome in Israel!
If the Vatican wants to continue a claim for Jewish property, if it want to recognize a State of Palestine on the ancient land of Israel, then it had better be prepared for a shock. The Vatican should await a claim from the Gauls, the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, Franks and ‘Holy Roman’ Germans.
They could apply Vatican moral and legal logic. They and others who once invaded Rome may lodge a property claim against the Vatican!
David Heilbron Price