Is Israel Changing Its Position Towards the Jerusalem Churches?
For the first time in the last 100 years, the doors of Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre were closed. The reason was the decision of the municipality of Jerusalem on the collection of taxes from the churches (the decision has already been canceled) and the debates in the Knesset on a bill on church property. If the bill is adopted, it will allow the state to expropriate land in Jerusalem that the Greek Orthodox and Catholic churches have sold off since 2010 to private investors. It is evident that all this should have caused dissatisfaction of the leaders of the churches, which was expressed by closing the doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
It is not possible to exactly say what the reason was that the Israeli authorities took such steps, but given the choice of the time and the location of the church, we can make a few assumptions.
First of all, it should be remembered that the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the US was quite badly accepted by the Christian churches of Jerusalem. In spite of the great happiness of the Israeli authorities, 13 patriarchs and leaders of the churches in Jerusalem sent a letter to the US President Donald Trump, warning that the change of the city’s status may have irreversible consequences. In the letter, they urged Trump to recognize Jerusalem's current international status, noting that Jerusalem belongs to everyone. Obviously, such a position would not be left out of the attention of the Israeli authorities, moreover, it could not remain without response.
Second, the church lands are in the heart of Jerusalem, in the old quarter and are of great value. Thus, in this way, the state tries to gradually take these lands under their own control and, in terms of business, use them "more effectively".
For centuries, churches in Jerusalem were freed from all types taxes and have the right to freely dispose their property without state interference. Despite the abolition of the decision to tax the churches, recent developments have shown that there is a tendency to change the status quo and deprive churches of this privileged status.
Obviously, there is a tendency for Israeli authorities to change policy towards churches, and at this point some "concessions" are likely to be caused by the increased noise and certain pressure. However, the draft law on church lands is still under discussion and it is not ruled out that the Israeli authorities will do their best to at least adopt that bill. It is interesting what the reaction of Israel would be if such actions were taken against the territories belonging to the Synagogues in other countries.
Armenia, China Sign Air Communication Agreement
Russian MoD Blames Israel for Attack Which Led to Downing of Il-20 by Syria
21 Killed in Iranian Road Accident
Levon Aronian's Wife to Solo Cycle through Turkey and Iran to Armenia
Pope to Armenian Monks: Continue to Illuminate the Path to Unity
Fire on the Slopes of Mount Ararat Has Started to Quickly Spread Again
North, South Korean Leaders Kick off 3-day Summit
Armenia’s Human Rights Defender's Office Praised by European Union for "Excellent" Job
PM Receives EAEU-Member States’ Central Bank Presidents
NATO Ready to Response if Russia Carries out a Cyberattack
FM Mnatsakanyan: Armenia Remains Committed to Peaceful Settlement Process of NK Conflict
My Deal or No Deal: Theresa May
Armenia to Carry out Inspections in Turkish Sites as Part of Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE)
London Mayor Calls for Another Referendum on Brexit
President of Artsakh Met with Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan
Mattis Condemns Russia for Influence-Peddling in Macedonia
Ethiopia, Eritrea Sign Agreement in Saudi Arabia
Trump to Annouce Tariffs on $200 Billion in Chinese Goods
The Interview of the Suspected Made Scripal Case Even More Complicated
Right After Pashinyan's Son, Now Aliyev's Son Went to the Army (Photos)
Belgian King and His Family Are on Vacation in Armenia
Pashinyan: Karabakh Should Become a Part of Armenia
Erdogan Wants to Build a Seljuk Style Presidential Palace on Shores of Lake Van
Angela Merkel Arrived in Armenia
Armenian-Chinese Friendship School Opens in Yerevan
Dan Bilzerian Registers in the Armenian Armed Forces
Merkel Left Azerbaijan with ''Armenian Flags''
US Announces Death of ISIS Leader in Afghanistan
Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Berlin Regrets Azerbaijan's Decision to Ban German Parliamentarian from Entering the Country Due to His Visit to Karabakh
Wind: 17.70 km/h