web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Papal Intervention

There is no denying the significance of Pope Francis’s expressions of horror and anguish over the Holocaust during his visit to the Middle East this week. As the spiritual leader of more than 1 billion Roman Catholics, his emotional words are bound to have a real impact on the way many people around the world view the Nazis’ war of extermination against the Jews.

Yet candor requires that we also note the aspects of the pope’s trip that were harmful to the interests of Israel – namely, the calculated bows to both Israeli and Palestinian symbols and sensitivities. Because for all the praise the pope garnered for that show of evenhandedness, the fact is that ignoring Palestinian recalcitrance only serves to encourage more of it.

It has long been clear to us that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is not prepared to negotiate with Israel if it means he’d have to make meaningful concessions. Rather, his notion of negotiations seems to entail a time frame for Israel’s meeting his unalterable demands.

Indeed, when Israel balks, he simply threatens to – and in some cases actually does – renew efforts to gain recognition of his demands from the United Nations, without of course having to give anything in return. And these machinations gain momentum when he perceives that the United States or the international community is more firmly in his corner on a particular issue.

Seen from this perspective, we believe Pope Francis complicated mightily the prospects for peace in the Middle East with his visit to the region. To be sure, there were pluses –in addition to his aforementioned reaction at Yad Vashem, he became the first pope to visit the tomb of Theodor Herzl, widely recognized as the father of the Zionist movement. Nonetheless, the overall effect of the trip was a boost to Mr. Abbas in his determination that the Palestinians not have to deal directly with Israel in any serious manner.

When the pope touched down in the Middle East, it was not in Jordan or within the Green Line, as other popes have done. Rather, he went directly to an area in the West Bank administered by the Palestinian Authority. And while many have spoken of the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state, the pope spoke in the present tense of “the State of Palestine.”

Words like that, providing a papal imprimatur to the idea of an already existing Palestinian state, surely took Mr. Abbas’s breath away.

And then came the stop at Israel’s security wall where the pontiff prayed at a section that had been spray-painted with graffiti reading “Free Palestine” and comparing Bethlehem to the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw during the reign of the Nazis. He labeled the fence as “monstrous” and touched his forehead at a place where someone had sprayed the words: “Pope we need some 1 to speak about justice.”

That scene at the security wall went viral and no doubt confirmed Mr. Abbas’s view that easy symbolism beats hard negotiations anytime.

The rest of the pope’s brief stay in Bethlehem was even more of a coup for those pushing the Palestinian narrative, as was evident in the coverage of media outlets far and wide. Here, for example, was The New York Times:

In Bethlehem, where Francis spent six hours, he met Mr. Abbas as a peer, giving the Palestinians the kind of high-profile boost they had been seeking, and spotlighting the Vatican’s support for the 2012 United Nations resolution that upgraded their status to observer state.

He led a spirited Mass in a crowded Manger Square, which was bedecked with photomontages blending Christian iconography with images of Palestinians’ difficult daily reality. There he had lunch with families suffering particular hardships under Israeli occupation, and was serenaded by scores of children from the nearby Dheisheh refugee camp, home to some 12,000 people exiled from former family homes since the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Papal Intervention”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority students in Gaza rallying for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit the enclave in 2011. (archive)
Wow! Turkey’s Erdogan to Meet Jewish, Armenian Leaders in NY!
Latest Indepth Stories
ISIS Released Map

Israel would love to be in the coalition,but it’s never going to happen, because, in the end, most of America’s allies would walk away if Israel were on board officially.

IDF lone soldier and  David Menachem Gordon (z"l).

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

Starck-091914

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Kohn-091914

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.

More Articles from Editorial Board

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

His many articles on education showed great insight into the problems facing Jewish teachers in a changing student environment.

We cannot forget Secretary Kerry’s obsessive and relentless focus on the Middle East peace process.

The Jewish Press endorses Governor Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic Party gubernatorial primary election.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/papal-intervention/2014/05/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: