OU Criticizes Vatican-P.A. Pact on Jerusalem

Posted on February 23, 2000 In Press Releases

Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, through its Institute for Public Affairs criticized the Vatican’s recently signed agreement with the Palestinian Authoriy.

The agreement, signed by Pope John Paul II and Yasser Arafat, is an attempt by the Vatican to inappropriately influence the peace process. The agreement comes at a crucial stage of the peace process and places unnecessary pressure on already tense negotiations. The agreement’s attempt to redefine Jerusalem as a “international city” is an assault on Jerusalem’s status as the eternal and indivisible capital of the State of Israel.

Orthodox Union President, Dr. Mandell Ganchrow stated “throughout its history, Israel has taken extraordinary steps to protect religious freedom for people of all religions. This agreement’s insinuation that Israel has not met, or exceeded, all of her obligations in regard to the protection of the holy sites and the religious rights of all individuals is an insult to the State of Israel.” Ganchrow went on to add that “this agreement is a violation of previous agreements signed by Israel and the Palestinians limiting the types of agreements that the Palestinian Authority could make.”