Pope Francis, condemn the slaying of Israeli mothers

One word was conspicuously missing from the Pope's speech at the synagogue in Rome.

Giulio Meotti

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צילום: עצמי

It was a generous but empty speech delivered by Pope Francis in the main synagogue in Rome: common roots and values, condemnation of anti-Semitism and pity for the Holocaust.

Why? Because the Pope didn’t say the magic word, the one that turns the anti-Semites of the whole world mad, a madness that embodies the present and the future of the Jewish people: Israel.

While the Pope was preaching and speaking in the synagogue, Palestinian terrorists butchered an Israeli woman in front of her children. But the double stigma of Jew and “settler” made the name of Dafna Meir invisibile and unspeakable.

This is the Vatican’s biggest sin: silence. In the 1960’s, Israel’s chief rabbi, Rishon Letzion Yitzhak Nissim, declared that that Pope Paul VI was not moved by the Jewish lives lost in the terrorist bombing of the Machane Yehuda market place in Jerusalem a month earlier, “but he hurried to console Lebanon after the destruction of a few planes without loss of life”.

All the Popes blessed Yasser Arafat and his Palestine Liberation Organization, the terrorist seeking to win for the Arabs not only the territories liberated by Israel in 1967, but all of 1948 Israel.

Arafat and his followers had shed the blood of Jewish schoolchildren and athletes, politicians and passers-by, in and beyond the Middle East. His organization’s actions had horrified the world. But the Popes gave them publicity and legitimacy, including the current PLO’s chief Mahmoud Abbas, whom Pope Francis recently called “Angel of Peace”.

That is why then Israel’s Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, railed against Pope John Paul II’s decision to meet the terrorist leader. An “unnamed Israeli official”, who was believed to be Begin, expressed his outrage in these words: “The Church, which did not say a word about the massacre of the Jews for six years in Europe and has not had much to say about the killing of Christians for seven years in Lebanon, is now ready to meet a man who committed the killings in Lebanon and who wants the destruction of Israel in order to complete the work carried out by the Nazis in Germany... If this man (Pope John Paul II) meets with Arafat, it is indicative of a certain moral standard”.

John Paul II sullied his papacy with a nauseating, twenty-minute meeting with Yasser Arafat on September 16, 1982 — long before the PLO’s chief feigned his formal renunciation of terrorism.

We could also remember the Bethlehem Church of the Nativity standoff, when the Church and the Pope rallied behind the Palestinian terrorists who desecrated the Christian shrine and came out against the Israeli soldiers. In short, the Catholic authorities sanctioned the terrorists’ right to use the church as a shelter.

When Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon refused to allow Arafat to travel to Bethlehem for Christmas, the Catholic clerics indicted the Israelis for their “inhumane” and “insulting” action. Yet the Vatican was conspicuously silent concernine Arafat’s refusal to arrest the terrorists who had murdered Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi a few weeks earlier. The moral blindness to terrorism and the ever-present anti-Jewish hostility have been displayed by the Vatican during all the last major wars in the Middle East, from the war in Lebanon (2006) to three conflicts in Gaza (2009-2012-2014).

The history of Jewish-Catholic relations is full of silence. By refusing to mention the name “Israel” and by refusing to condemn the slaying of an Israeli mother in Otniel, Pope Francis just confirmed himself as being another Papal bystander in front of genocidal violence against Israel and its people.