Its Time To Address The Greek Orthodox Patriarch’s False Claims

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Ateret Cohanim does not generally make any comments on any property or acquisition in which it is associated, while matters are still in the courts.

However, recent disturbing and possible defamatory or inciting statements by the current Greek Orthodox Patriarch requires a reply.

His baseless claims of churches being vandalized, desecrated and threatened by Israeli radical fringe groups are not only totally false, but are also reminiscent of anti-semetic statements made during the blood libels of the Middle Ages. The Israeli police cannot validate the claims of the Patriarch.

Nothing could be further from the truth and it’s a shame that due to probable political pressure from the PA, Hamas, and other radical groups, that such outlandish statements were made by a religious leader.

There are in fact cordial and warm relations between Jews and most Christians in the Holy city of Jerusalem.

Ateret Cohanim has a firm belief that any person, whether Jew, Christian or Moslem, should be able to freely purchase and live in peace in any property and in any neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Ateret Cohanim rejects any and every attempt by people to limit where Jews should be able to acquire and live. We dont believe in Judenrein areas in Jerusalem or in Israel, especially as we are the indigenous people of this land..

Finally – when a Moslem or Christian buys a property from a Jew in Jerusalem, he isn’t “driving” the Jews out of Jerusalem. It’s real estate and he is simply buying a property which he desires.

And the same in reverse.

If a Jew is buying or leasing a property owned by the Church (like the Israeli Government does from the Greek Orthodox Church for the land of the Knesset and the Great Synagogue is on in Rechavia) he is NOT driving out the Church or its believers.

The Jaffa Gate hotels in question ARE NOT HOLY CHRISTIAN SITES. They are not Churches.  

They are simply basic hotels in need of major investment and overhaul. (The Petra is very downtrodden and run down.)

They are now leased for a very long time to Jewish concerns, as ratified by the Israeli court system including the Israel Supreme Court..

Ateret Cohanim would like to remind the Patriarch and all readers that before the Petra Hotel was even owned by the Church – it was first built (1835) and owned by the Jewish Amzalak family from Gibraltar and then for close to 35 years (from 1890 until the Arab pogroms of 1929 approx), it was owned and managed by the Jewish Amdursky family as an up-market quality kosher Hotel.

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