https://diasporarm.org-The Armenian quarter of the Old City is of strategic importance for the status of Jerusalem within the frameworks of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The potential takeover of Armenian lands which occupy 6.55% of the old city and can be valued at tens of billions by Israelis tilting the power of the majority from Arabs to Jews in the old city.
The Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Nourhan Manougian, has been criticized for signing off a piece of land (Goveroon Bardez) from the Armenian quarter to an Israeli association to build a Hotel. Many Armenian residents have taken to the streets in protest of this reprehensible and worrisome decision. An open letter to Patriarch Manougian stressed the deep discontent of the Armenian residents regarding the latter’s dealings and management of community affairs.
During an interview in December 2018 with the AGBU Magazine, Patriarch Manougian had highlighted the importance of Armenian presence in the old city, future housing projects for the Armenian youth, and the financial self-sufficiency of the Patriarchate. If so, Why did the Patriarch sign off a piece of land?
A clear strategy is a prerequisite for any further negotiations. Competent skilled negotiators and lawyers should be part of the discussions alongside the spiritual leaders to ensure the preservation and appreciation of the Armenian quarter.