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      Op-Ed: The Pope was Not a Friend of the Jews

      Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 8:47 AM
      If you read the records, the picture that unfolds is not the rosy one Israel described upon hearing of the Pope's resignation.


      Pope Benedict XVI just resigned and Israel’s chief rabbis have already lauded the relations the Pontifex cultivated with the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

      The contrary is the case. The Pope has not been a friend of the Jewish people and he supported the world's most important source of anti-Semitism: the Palestinianism.

      The proof is in the Pope's travel in Israel in 2009, when Benedict most went closely in touch with the Israelis.

      The Vatican authorities avoided calling the “State of Israel” by name but preferred to use the empty denomination “Holy Land”. And the Pope presented the Arabs as “victims” and the Israelis as “oppressors”. It was clear from the Pope’s speeches in Bethlehem and its surroundings that the Catholic attitude to the Jewish people remains unchanged since the Second World War.

      Benedict called the Palestinian Arabs “the people who have suffered so much”. Benedict told President Mahmoud Abbas that “the Holy See supports the right of your people to a sovereign Palestinian homeland in the land of your forefathers, secure and at peace with its neighbors, within internationally guaranteed borders”. After expressing clear support for the Palestinian state, the Pope added that “Palestinians like any other people, have a natural right to marry, to raise families, and to have access to work, education and health care,” hinting that the Israelis are not allowing poor Palestinians to marry and to have access to work, education, and medical care. Rather, the contrary is true.

      Pope Benedict did not condemn Arab terrorism, but launched an appeal to young people: “Have the courage to resist any temptation you may feel to resort to acts of violence or terrorism.” His words “temptation for terrorism” hinted at the Vatican’s claim that Israeli policy is the root of Palestinian terrorism, while the truth is exactly the opposite.

      Pope Benedict XVI’s message at the village of Al Aida, near Bethlehem, was meant to symbolize the Arab claim of the “right of return”, according to Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. Benedict XVI attacked Israel’s security fence saying that “it is tragic to see that even today walls are erected” and later added that “walls can be brought down,” a clear incitation to violence.

      The Pope made Israel responsible for the “the alarming decline in the Christian population of the Middle East, including Israel, through emigration.” Not only the Pope's accusation is not corroborated by facts. But it ignores the Arab-Islamic grand plan to purge the Middle East of any Christian presence.

      Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed the “land of the ancestors” of the Palestinian people and the State of Israel as defined by the Holocaust and facing a real people, aboriginal and native, heir of ancient Israel. This has been the frame of the entire Benedict’s course: piety on the Holocaust for the Jewish people and political sovereignty for the Arabs.

      Why did the Pope visite a refugees’ camp if not to certify the Palestinian propaganda?

      In his speech in the Palestinian territories, Benedict said: “May He blesses with peace the Palestinian people!”. At the Aida camp: “May God blesses his people with peace!”. In the Manger Square: “You, God’s chosen people in Bethlehem”. And to Palestinian president Abbas: “I invoke upon all the Palestinian people the blessings and protection of your heavenly Father”. Unfortunately, we didn’t hear the same blessings on the people of Israel. Pope Benedict’s words contained an encouragement to violence.

      By praising the “right of return” of the refugees, the Pope was asking the disappearance of the State of Israel. The Pope expressed his “solidarity with all Palestinians who have no home and waiting to return to their homeland”. This is the best way to uphold the Palestinians in their plan to eradicate the Jewish State.

      And how to find words of peace in the Pope’s condemnation of the “wall”? He said, “I saw the wall that intrudes into your territories, separating neighbors and dividing families. Although walls can easily be built, we know they do not last forever”.

      Had the Pope forgotten that before the barrier Palestinian terrorism was rampant in the Israeli cities and Jews were slaughtered in the number of 2,000? Why did the Pope define the failure to commit terrorist acts as “courageous”, if not to assume implicitly understanding such a “temptation”?

      The Pope said to the Palestinians: “Have the courage to resist any temptation you may feel to resort to violence or terrorism”. To condemn the blockade of Gaza, the Pope has shown the same selective memory about “the embargo to be lifted soon”. Not a word about Hamas and the 15.000 rockets that Israel received from that territory after it destroyed Gush Katif in 2005.

      Moreover the Pope resorted to anti-Jewish theology when he said that “I have seen with anguish the situation of the refugees who like the Holy Family were obliged to leave their houses,” which recalls the Gospel of Matthew (2,13): 'Get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.... Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him'”.

      If the Israelis are like Herod, are the Palestinians the modern version of Jesus?

      The Pope’s last most important political decision was that of granting an audience to Mahmoud Abbas. The Vatican should not have blessed the audience with overt political significance by accepting from the Palestinian leader the gift of a mosaic of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, bearing the inscription that it was presented to him by “the President of the State of Palestine”. A few days later, the Pope’s official notes began referring to the “State of Palestine”.
      In this day of revolution for the Catholic Church, the Israeli Jewish people didn’t lose a friend. They lost a contender.