Pope Francis: God Promised the Holy Land to the People of Israel
JNS.org – Pope Francis declared that God promised the Holy Land to the people of Israel in a speech at the Vatican Wednesday, the Jerusalem Post reported.
“The people of Israel, who from Egypt, where they were enslaved, walked through the desert for 40 years until they reached the land promised by God,” the pope said.
Francis made the statement shortly before a meeting with Israeli Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara, whom he thanked for his work on behalf of Christians in Israel.
The statement by the pontiff came just hours after UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee passed a resolution ignoring Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. The resolution, which was similar to a previous resolution passed Oct. 13 by the body’s Executive Committee, exclusively referred to the Temple Mount by its Muslim names.
While the Vatican has yet to make a formal statement on the UNESCO Jerusalem resolutions, Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein wrote a letter to Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin calling them “an assault on history that is deeply offensive to both Christianity and Judaism,” and urging the Vatican to “use its best offices to prevent the recurrence of developments of this sort.”