01/17/2010, 00.00
ISRAEL - VATICAN
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Rabbi Rosen: Israel’s treatment of the Vatican outrageous

A few hours ahead of the meeting between Benedict XVI and the Jewish community of Rome, David Rosen accuses the state of Israel of not honouring the agreements made with the Vatican in '94, at the launch of diplomatic ties. He also accuses "xenophobes" of spreading false rumours against the Vatican.

Rome (AsiaNews) – Israel’s attitude to the Vatican is "outrageous".  This is Rabbi David Rosen’s view of relations between Israel and the Holy See. In an article written by Cnaani Liphshiz, that appeared in today’s on-line English edition of Haaretz, the most influential Israeli newspaper, Rosen says that "any [other] country would have threatened to withdraw its ambassador long ago over Israel's failure to honor agreements "(See: Rabbi calls Israel's treatment of Vatican 'outrageous' - Haaretz - Israel News).  

UK born Rosen, is currently international director for interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee.  

Today, Rosen and other members of the Rabbinate of Israel will meet with Benedict XVI during a visit by a pontiff to the Jewish community of Rome. The Pope's visit was preceded by controversy centred on the Benedict XVI’s decision to proclaim the "heroic virtues" of Pius XII, opening the door to his possible beatification. Some Italian personalities and others from the Jewish international world are opposed because they accuse Pius XII of "silence" on the Holocaust. Many Jewish groups praised Pius XII for his work, which  saved hundreds of thousands of Jews from extermination (See AsiaNews.it, 21/12/2009 Pius XII, the Pope who opposed Hitler).  

In relations between the Vatican and the Jewish world, Rosen seems to give more importance to Tel Aviv’s delay in implementing of the Fundamental Agreement between Holy See and Israel.  

David Rosen is one of the promoters of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Israel signed in 1994, when "Israel pledged to recognize the legal status of Catholic institutions in Israel and exempt Vatican property in Israel from taxes".  

"The process was to take two years - says Rosen - Fifteen years later, the state has not ratified an agreement recognizing the church's legal status".

Last month, during the plenary meeting held at the Vatican between representatives of Israel and the Holy See, Daniel Ayalon, Israel's deputy foreign minister, spoke of a "broken" dialogue that was in "crisis". Several media in Israel attributed this situation to rumors that the Vatican requested the annexation of Mount Zion from Israel. Rosen believes these claims to be "falsehoods" propagated by "xenophobes".

 

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