“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”  

Daniel 11:45

THE TEMPLE INSTITUTE JERUSALEM on March 21, 2000 - the day that Pope John Paul II arrived in Israel on his Jubilee visit to the Holy Land. 

Today is Purim, that day of turnabout and the hidden, protective hand of Divine Providence. How remarkable that the Pope is visiting Jerusalem this week and arriving in Israel today. Is this mere coincidence —  is there ever such a thing?  And is it a coincidence that today, on Purim,  the Israel Defense Forces plans to withdraw from 6.1% of Judea and Samaria, in the framework of the last stage of the second Oslo withdrawal?

Yesterday was Ta’anit Esther, the Fast Day of Esther. It was on this day that Queen Esther, during the Babilonian captivity of Israel, faced with the reality of the wicked Haman’s plan and the realization that she alone could intercede with the king, declared that all the Jews in Shushan should join together in fast, repentance and prayer. Traditionally, repentance and prayer offered on this day is regarded as having singular merit, and the power of prayer on the Fast of Esther, as well as its ability to be accepted and to nullify evil, is very great. With blasts from the silver trumpets created by the Temple Institute for use in the Holy Temple, a special prayer gathering was held at the Western Wall to cry out to G-d to nullify these decrees, and to bring about a new manifestation of the miracle of Purim.

We have learned that the Purim story all began when the evil King Ahashverosh of Persia decided that the Temple was not going to be rebuilt. To celebrate this, he held a lavish pagan banquet...and as an act of total profanity, he donned the Priestly garments, and served the feast using the sacred vessels that had been plundered by the Babylonians, and taken from Jerusalem at the time of the destruction of the First Temple. Despite the fact that this banquet was calculated and designed for the sole purpose of humiliating and degrading the Jews, all the Jewish people of Shushan attended anyway…even the great leaders of the generation. The sole exception was Mordechai, who donned sackcloth and ashes.

Sometimes it seems that the news coming from Israel must be an elaborate, year-long Purim play…it simply can’t be real. What sane people would willfully bring about the circumstances that guarantee its own destruction, in return for nothing? Are we dreaming? Or could it be that we are all insane?

Here in Israel, some of us have the feeling that we must surely be living out some absurd parody of Jewish existence.

The country is aflutter with excitement over the Papal visit; the Vatican’s flag adorns the streets that will be used by the motorcade, banners declare “Jerusalem welcomes His Holiness the Pope;” Israel Television broadcasts non-stop live coverage of every move the Pontiff makes. The papers are full of commentaries, interpretations and editorials that ring praises for the “new relations” between the Church and Israel.

Israel’s leaders, the perennial emperor with no clothes and the paradigm of “see no evil, hear no evil,” insist that this is strictly a “religious” visit and carries no political connotation. In a frenzied orgy of neurotic self-flagellation, overjoyed to simply have the opportunity to be used by the partnership of Arafat and the Pope 

for the goals of Palestinian statehood, this morally bankrupt and spiritually bereft leadership has honestly convinced itself that the Pope is coming strictly as a spiritual pilgrim. They are overjoyed that last week, the Pope found it expedient to “apologize” to the “people of the Covenant”…while at the same time, refusing on his visit to utilize the humanitarian power of his office by meeting with the families of Israeli soldiers missing since the 1982 Battle of Sultan Yaqub due to his “tight schedule.” And just as our leaders ignore the fact that he could not bring himself to so much as mention the Jewish people by name, so too, they find it convenient 

to overlook the Pontiff’s insistence that the Jewish star be removed from the ambulance that will accompany his motorcade throughout the visit.

However, the Palestinian Authority sees it differently. As we reported yesterday, the Palestinians “have signed a petition calling on “Pope John Paul II to intervene to lift the siege of Jerusalem…the petition will be officially presented to the Pope 

when he visits the Temple Mount next Sunday.  In addition, a photo exhibit entitled “Our Story,” which depicts Israeli aggression in the Palestinian Authority and in Lebanon, will run at Orient House the entire week of the Pope’s visit.”

Yesterday, Israeli news reported that “Local Arabs removed Israeli flags that had been placed in eastern Jerusalem in honor of the visit, and replaced them with Palestinian flags. Similarly, a Palestinian flag was unfurled over Orient House today.”  When the Pope ascends to the Temple Mount this Sunday, there to be welcomed by NO Israeli official, but by representatives of the Palestinian Authority, the entire complex will be bedecked in Palestinian flags…

Last month, in the very midst of Israel’s fever-pitch preparations for the Pope’s visit this week, Israel was shocked to find that the Vatican announced the signing of a special agreement with the PLO. What a remarkable alliance! But truthfully, it is 

understandable if the peace-loving, godly Pope has apparently forgotten that the nobel-prize winning Arafat is the most accomplished terrorist and murderer of our generation, single-handedly responsible for the deaths of scores of innocent men, 

women and children. After all, this is the man who proved to the entire world that murder really does pay off, for he has received recognition, and is accepted internationally as a head of state.  Besides, America’s leader has embraced Arafat and put good faith in him, and more importantly, in utter madness beyond all 

sane reasoning, in their self-imposed death march, so have the Israelis—so, who could blame the Pope?

This covenant, entitled “Agreement of Principles Between the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Holy See,” and marked by Arafat kissing the Pope’s ring, calls for “a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli dispute to be achieved through negotiation and agreement to establish the national, legitimate, and inalienable rights and the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to ensure peace and security for all peoples of the region on the basis of international law and UN resolutions, including the relevant Security Council resolutions, on the basis of justice and equality.”

Thus, while dealing with the peace process and Jerusalem, the document did not once  mention Israel, nor did it mention Israel’s security, or the need for normalized relations between Israel and the Palestinians.

It also states “that an equitable solution for the issue of Jerusalem,  based on international resolutions, is fundamental for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and that any unilateral decisions and actions altering the special character and legal status of Jerusalem are morally and legally unacceptable.”  This historic 

agreement  “calls for a special status for Jerusalem, internationally guaranteed.”

Thus, the Vatican considers Israel’s declaration of Jerusalem as it capital to be an example of “unilateral decisions and actions altering the special character and legal status of Jerusalem”…which is “morally and legally unacceptable.”

Is the Vatican fit to teach the world what is morally and legally unacceptable? As it did during the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Holocaust? Where is it written in Israel’s Bible (does anyone remember that Israel brought the Bible to the world) that Jerusalem has a special character and legal status, other than its relationship with the Jewish people? Where is it written that anyone has a say in Jerusalem’s status, or that it requires “international guarantees?” Do London, Paris or Rome require international guarantees?

Is the Pope coming to visit Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, having never been an Arab capitol, nor ever the capitol of any other people in the world? He will be met at Orient House under Palestinian flags, by Palestinian children wearing t-shirts that bear the logo “Welcome His Holiness to Jerusalem, 

eternal capital of Palestine.”

What interest has the Pope in visiting the Temple Mount, seeing that the site as well as the concept of the Temple has no place in Catholic theology or doctrine? We are not fooled. Political support for the Palestinians - and not religious reasons - is the main purpose of the Pope’s trip to Israel. It is a clear follow-up of last month’s PLO-Papal Jerusalem declaration.

Today all of Israel celebrates Purim; those in Jerusalem and other ancient walled cities will celebrate Shushan Purim on Wednesday.

“These things should be remembered and kept throughout every generation” (Esther 9:28).

The sages expound upon the meaning of this verse: an aspect of Purim is revisited, and reemerges, every year. What is the aspect of Purim “remembered and kept” today?

We can find it in the incredulous expression of “the King” (as we taught, whenever the words “the King” alone are mentioned in the Scroll of Esther, it refers not to Ahashverosh, but to the Holy One, blessed be He, the King of Kings):  “Will he even assault the Queen in my own presence, in the house?” (Esther 7:8)

These are the words of the One G-d of Israel to Pope John Paul II. The Holy One declares:

I came back to My house, My palace, Jerusalem, together with my Queen, my people Israel. You dare to come here, to cast doubts about the status of Jerusalem, to interfere with its sanctity,  and to try to cast doubts on Israel’s sovereignty? You have the audacity to come to My House, and assault My people…in My own presence?

With blessings of  “the Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honor. 

 Esther 8:16


 Basic Agreement between the Holy See And the Palestine Liberation Organization, 15,02, 2000

The Holy See, the sovereign authority of the Catholic Church, and the 

Palestine Liberation Organization (hereinafter: PLO), the Representative of 

the Palestinian People working for the benefit and on behalf of the 

Palestinian Authority:

Deeply aware of the special significance of the Holy Land, which is inter 

alia a privileged space for inter-religious dialogue between the followers 

of the three monotheistic religions;

Having reviewed the history and development of the relations between the 

Holy See and the Palestinian People, including the working contacts and the 

subsequent establishment - on October 26, 1994 - of official relations 

between the Holy See and the PLO;

Recalling and confirming the establishment of the Bilateral Permanent 

Working Commission to identify, study and address issues of common interest 

between the two Parties;

Reaffirming the need to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the 

Middle East, so that all its nations live as good neighbours and work together to 

achieve development and prosperity for the entire region and all its 


Calling for a peaceful solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which 

would realize the inalienable national legitimate rights and aspirations of 

the Palestinian People, to be reached through negotiation and agreement, in 

order to ensure peace and security for all peoples of the region on the 

basis of international law, relevant United Nations and its Security 

Council resolutions, justice and equity;

Declaring that an equitable solution for the issue of Jerusalem, based on 

international resolutions, is fundamental for a just and lasting peace in 

the Middle East, and that unilateral decisions and actions altering the 

specific character and status of Jerusalem are morally and legally 


Calling, therefore, for a special statute for Jerusalem, internationally 

guaranteed, which should safeguard the following:

a. Freedom of religion and conscience for all.

b. The equality before the law of the three monotheistic religions and 

their institutions and followers in the City.

c. The proper identity and sacred character of the City and its universally 

significant, religious and cultural heritage.

d. The Holy Places, the freedom of access to them and of worship in them.

e. The Regime of "Status Quo" in those Holy Places where it applies;

Recognizing that Palestinians, irrespective of their religious affiliation, 

are equal members of Palestinian society;

Concluding that the achievements of the aforementioned Bilateral Permanent 

Working Commission now amount to appropriate matter for a first and 

Basic-Agreement, which should provide a solid and lasting foundation for 

the continued development of their present and future relations, and for the 

furtherance of the Commission' s on-going task,

Agree on the following Articles:

Article 1

Paragraph 1:

The PLO affirms its permanent commitment to uphold and observe the human 

right to freedom of religion and conscience, as stated in the Universal 

Declaration of Human Rights and in other international instruments relative 

to its application.

Paragraph 2:

The Holy See affirms the commitment of the Catholic Church to support this 

right and states once more the respect that the Catholic Church has for the 

followers of other religions.

Article 2

Paragraph 1:

The Parties are committed to appropriate cooperation in promoting respect 

for human rights, individual and collective, in combating all forms of 

discrimination and threats to human life and dignity, as well as to the 

promotion of understanding and harmony between nations and communities.

Paragraph 2:

The Parties will continue to encourage inter-religious dialogue for the 

promotion of better understanding between people of different religions.

Article 3

The PLO will ensure and protect in Palestinian Law the equality of human 

and civil rights of all citizens, including specifically, inter alia, their 

freedom from discrimination, individually or collectively, on the ground of 

religious affiliation, belief or practice.

Article 4

The regime of the "Status Quo" will be maintained and observed in those 

Christian Holy Places where it applies.

Article 5

The PLO recognizes the freedom of the Catholic Church to exercise her 

rights to carry out, through the necessary means, her functions and traditions, 

such as those that are spiritual, religious, moral, charitable, educational 

and cultural.

Article 6

The PLO recognizes the rights of the Catholic Church in economic, legal and 

fiscal matters: these rights being exercised in harmony with the rights of 

the Palestinian authorities in these fields.

Article 7

Full effect will be given in Palestinian Law to the legal personality of 

the Catholic Church and of the canonical legal persons.

Article 8

The provisions of this Agreement are without prejudice to any agreement 

hitherto in force between either Party and any other party.

Article 9

The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission, in accordance with such 

instructions as may be given by the respective Authorities of the two 

Parties, may propose further ways to address items of this Agreement.

Article 10

Should any controversy arise regarding the interpretation or the 

application of provisions of the present Agreement, the Parties will resolve it by way 

of mutual consultation.

Article 11

Done in two original copies in the English and Arabic languages, both texts 

being equally authentic. In case of divergency, the English text shall 


Article 12

This Agreement shall enter into force from the moment of its signature by the two Parties.

Signed in the Vatican, fifteenth of February, 2000

Vatican News Service Bulletin.


     Edson shared what was evidently the majority view at this time; namely, that the Papacy is the power of the latter part of Daniel 11, as Miller and James White had held it, and many others back to Reformation times....    

     "The king, that is, the Pope or Papal king, should do according to his will, and exalt [*]and magnify himself above every god,' that is to say, above every one of the kings of Europe, by holding all those kings under his dictation and control, claiming the right to crown and depose kings at his will, practicing and prospering in doing according to his will in this magnified, exalted station, TILL the indignation be ACCOMPLISHED. . . .   

     "Verses 36-39 [of Daniel 11] contain a catalogue of the acts and doings of the Papal king; and verse 40 foretells an event which should mark the time of the end, where the indignation would cease; viz., 'And at the time of the end the king of the south shall push at him.'" 40 

1954 LEF, PFF4 1086

Waning of the Pope's Power

     “They shall take away his power, says the prophet, to consume and destroy it unto the end. The following sets forth a singular movement that is on foot even in Italy itself, which must be as humbling to the papacy as anything that has ever happened. We look for this man of sin soon to plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain, Jerusalem, and come to his end with none to help him. Dan. xi, 45. He is asked to resign the patrimony of St. Peter as follows:     

     "The petition which has for many months been circulating among the Roman Catholic priests of Italy, asking the Pope, as spiritual head of the church on earth, to resign his temporal power, has been sent to Pius IX, signed by 8,943 Italian priests, or about a fourth of the whole number, 2,000 of whom are of the higher clergy and dignitaries. Though the object of the petition was not opposition to the Papacy, to which many of the signers are still bigotedly attached, but rather a patriotic desire for the union of the different States of Italy under one king, the Pope regards it as a serious and wicked insult, and has directed the bishops of the different dioceses to suspend all the signers from their priestly functions. Many of the bishops hesitate to execute this order of the Pope in the present state of the popular mind.”

 April 18, 1865 UrSe, ARSH 157