Israel had refused to accept Theofilos III almost three years now, but the US bullied Israel into accepting him, and Israel established a government commission that said the government should recognize him. This is a HUGE mistake.
The guy is a serious anti-Semite, and a good buddy with the formely deadly, and now dead (may his name be erased) Yassir A. He will do ANYTHING to destroy Israel.
I think it is time that Israel starts to enforce laws equally, don’t you? If they say they can seize property and move Jews for “security reasons” even when Jews own the land, then why can’t they seize property and move anti-Semite Greeks and terrorist arabs?
Cancellation of property sale could affect dividing Jerusalem
Posted: December 7, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
JERUSALEM – The man enthroned here as Greek Orthodox patriarch has been asked by church leaders to cancel the sale to Jewish groups of land comprising much of a key entrance to Jerusalem's Old City, a church official told WND yesterday.
"The deal must be canceled and Theofilos knows this. We as a church will fight any smuggling of real estate to Jewish organizations," Atallah Hanna, the church's archbishop of Sebastia, told WND in an interview.
Ownership of the land in question – two hotels that comprise a large section of the Jaffa Gate, the principal entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem – could be crucial in the future status of Jerusalem during upcoming Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Following last month's U.S.-backed Annapolis summit, Israel is widely expected to evacuate eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods for the creation of an eventual Palestinian state. Previous U.S.-backed proposals have allotted Jewish-owned sections of Jerusalem to Israel and Arab-occupied real estate to the Palestinians.
The question of the ownership of the Jaffa Gate properties is at the center of a debate in Israel regarding whether to recognize Theofilos III, elected patriarch in 2005 amid charges of church irregularities. Theofilos also has been quoted by church officials as opposing the sale of Jerusalem property to Jews.
A top church official close to Theofilis, speaking to WND yesterday on condition of anonymity, said Theofilos' leadership will stand against selling land to Jews.
"Any deal that can serve the judiazation of Jerusalem is against the policy Theofilis wants the church to adopt," said the official. "All the priests and patriarchs must take this into consideration. Eastern Jerusalem is for the Palestinians."
Israel's Supreme Court is slated to decide later this month whether the Jewish state will officially recognize Theolilos. A government commission here established to offer a recommendation in the affair failed to agree whether Theoflios should be recognized.
Regional bylaws require Jerusalem's Greek Orthodox patriarch – the religious leader of 100,000 Christians in the Holy Land. – to be recognized by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
Jordan and the PA approved of Theofilos, but Israel has withheld its support amid reports, first exposed by WND, that prior to the patriarchal elections Theofilos, along with other candidates for patriarch, signed a secret church document stating if he were elected leader he would nullify all transactions made by Irenios, the previous patriarch, including the Jaffa Gate sale.
Church officials tried to oust Irenios in May 2005 by holding new patriarchal elections after it was exposed he allegedly leased for 99 years the church's Jaffa Gate real estate to Jewish groups.
In a move that enraged nationalist leaders here, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last month met and held a photo opportunity with Theofilos in a sign she supported the embattled cleric in spite of Israeli objections.
Also in October, the Hamas terror group expressed support for Theofilos. A delegation of senior Hamas leaders in Gaza visited the territory's main Greek Orthodox church, where they heaped praise on Theofilos for his refusal to cooperate with Israel and sell land to Jews.
Hamas leader in Gaza Mahmoud al-Zahar, the terror group's former foreign minister, stated he is "proud" Theofilis "isn't working with Israel."
Theofilos has claimed he is still obtaining all the information on the real estate deals conducted under the previous patriarch, Irenios, and that he hasn't made any decisions yet regarding the Jaffa's Gate sale. But some Israeli officials chalk up Theofilos' reluctance to immediately cancel the deal to the fact that the Jewish state is still deliberating whether to recognize his leadership.
But WND revealed Theofilos already signed a document stating he would nullify the Jaffa land deal.
The document, addressed to the Palestinian Authority and obtained by WND, states, "We, the candidates of the Greek Orthodox Church, hereby agree that we are obliged to abide by the law of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate. ... In the event that we are elected, we shall act for the cancellation of all transactions made during the period of Irineos I, and shall keep the Orthodox religious trust."
High-placed sources close to the church said the document was drafted by a PA government minister with the specific goal of canceling Irineos' lease of the Jaffa Gate hotels to the Jewish groups.
"The candidates were essentially blackmailed by the Palestinians that if they didn't sign the document and cancel the lease, they would not get approval of the PA as candidates and could not run in elections," a church source told WND. "This is an outright racist policy against the Jews."
A senior church leader close to Irineos told WND: "Theofilos has made statements about not providing Jerusalem land to Jews. He agrees with the Palestinians that they have the rights to eastern Jerusalem."
In May, Jordan temporarily suspended Theofilos for three months, reportedly asking him to immediately cancel the Jaffa's Gate deal. According to informed sources, Theofilis was reinstated in August after assuring Jordan he would ultimately nullify the land sale.
Irineos continues to occupy the patriarch's quarters and did not attend Theofilos' installation ceremony.
Speaking to WND, Irineos said he could not comment on the secret document regarding nullification of the Jaffa Gate sale, but said, "There is a lot at play here in the election of Theofilos and attempts at deposing [me]."
"The electorate was blackmailed into supporting Theofilos," Irineos said. "They were told by fathers and brotherhood members and others that if they didn't vote for Theofilos, they would be kicked out of the church. Documents were made to be signed, including a letter that said 'I will not stand with Irineos.'"
Irineos said he will not step down as patriarch and is "eagerly awaiting" the Israeli committee decision.
In an official document responding to Theofilos' petition for recognition, Israel has described the 2005 ceremony to enthrone Theofilos as a "serious impropriety."
"The petition of Theofilos III should be rejected, because the ceremony was held before a verdict was handed down," read the Israeli response. "Israel had already expressed its objections about the matter in a letter written by the minister for Jerusalem affairs, Tzachi Hanegbi, which the patriarchate did not take into account."