LIFE IN ISRAEL CAN BE VERY STRANGE INDEED
The Rabbinic Council of the Chief Rabbinate has decided to convene to discuss the current overtures being considered by the Israeli government towards the Vatican. The ownership of a number of sites important to Christians is being considered for transfer to the Vatican.
The Rabbinic Council put out a "psak" saying that it is forbidden to give any part of the Holy Land to the Vatican. They called upon the Prime Minister to cease any further discussion and consideration of the matter.
Rav Simcha Kook (Chief Rabbi of Rehovot and member of the Council) said that among the list are 19 locations throughout Judea and Samaria, along with 28 sites in Jerusalem. Transferring ownership to the Vatican will place Jewish control of Jerusalem in jeopardy. The claim that these sites were controlled after being conquered by the Crusaders 800 years ago is ridiculous, as we owned these sites 2000 years ago. Just because we recaptured them in 1967 does not mean we have to give up our authority. Please read the quite vivid comments to this on Rafi's blog. (sources: ynet and INN)
HOW FAR BACK ARE WE GOING TO GO TO GIVE LAND BACK TO CONQUERING INVADERS?
The Jews never invaded Israel; it was GIVEN to the Hebrews by the G-d of the Universe, under Divine mandate, and our Avos even PAID CASH for some AREAS; so why do we have to abide by someone in a robe asking for pieces of our Land?
What about the stones and mortar? They can have that, why we can even ship that back to them. BUT the Land, that belongs to G-d and He gave it to us for safe-keeping. We have a moral responsibility to guard it and protect it.
UPDATE: Jerusalem - The Chief Rabbinate issued a special clarification today stating that according to halachic rule, no Holy Land assets can be handed over to the Vatican. The ruling followed Pope Benedict XVI's request to be given the title to several of the Christian faith's holy sites, ahead of his visit to Israel. The Rabbinate's Holy Sites Commission convened an emergency session on the matter and it demands the government cease all discussions on the matter.