Deputy Transport Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) sent an urgent letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday, demanding that he prevent the rumored transfer of David’s Tomb to Catholic hands.
Hotovely’s letter surfaces following reports of an agreement between Israel and the Vatican which would transfer ownership of David’s Tomb on Mount Zion in Jerusalem to the Church.
Hotovely noted that the Tomb is a sacred place for the Jewish people – and warned the Prime Minister not to make the same mistakes made regarding the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, which is in the hands of the Jordanian Waqf.
“It is inconceivable that this place will be transferred to foreign hands, such the Torahs and the Star of David will be swallowed in a sea of crosses,” the Deputy Minister wrote.
”Transferring the rights to the gravesite of David to Christian hands would be similar to Moshe Dayan’s decision to entrust the keys to the Temple Mount to the Jordanian Waqf.”
Hotovely warned that David’s Tomb, like the Temple Mount, could become restricted to Jewish access and prayer – and has serious political and religious implications.
“David’s Tomb is also evidence of Jewish sovereignty in ancient Israel,” she declared. “Handing over the grave of the great leaders of the ancient Jewish state, is in fact an agreement with the Palestinians – who rewrite history and challenge the legitimacy of the State of Israel.”
Concerns over a possible transfer of the property have been raised multiple times over the past several months. Earlier this month, an Israeli diplomatic source told Arutz Sheva that the Israeli government has no intention of transferring control over the site to the Church.
However, Rabbi Yaakov Sevilia, an activist for King David’s Tomb, told Arutz Sheva that there is a deal in the works – which would see David’s Tomb given to Christians, and the Temple Mount to Muslims. He cited journalist Gulio Meotti, who contributes regularly to Arutz Sheva, as the source for this knowledge.