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Many were startled by Pope John Paul II’s neglect to respond to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s anti-Semitic calumnies the other day in the presence of the pontiff. But it would be a mistake to focus on the non-reaction of a elderly and obviously overtaken man who may not even have heard or understood what Bashar was saying. The real concern is what the event said of the currently hot topics of interreligious activity and ecumenicism.
Papal visits are not slapdash events with haphazard socializing and spontaneous shmoozing. They are carefully planned and well-orchestrated affairs. Thus, the Pope’s own remarks to his Syrian hosts meticulously reflected the well-honed Vatican Mideast policy, complete with pro-Palestinian buzz words:
As I have publicly stated on other occasions, it is time to ‘return to the principles of international legality: the banning of the acquisition of territory by force, the right of peoples to self-determination, respect for the resolutions of the United Nations Organization and the Geneva conventions, to quote only the most important.’
And after all, the Pope was to be in Syria, the guest of someone who only recently characterized Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians as worse than what the Nazis did to the Jews and opined that the Jews deserved what they got. So the Pope’s advisers had to have anticipated that Bashar was going to seize the opportunity to once again savage Israel and the Jews.
Yet there was no response prepared! Moreover, there has been nothing said by the Vatican since the incident. To be sure, there are some who have said, despite the Pope’s political presentation, that the Pope and the Vatican are simply above getting enmeshed in local disputations, and the silence is simply a matter of taking the high road. But we are not buying that.
To put the matter in perspective, here is part of what Bashar had to say to the Pope:
As head of the Holy See in Rome, Your Holiness embodies the summit of responsibility for maintaining those values, especially that there are those who invariably attempt to subject all people once and again to the journey of ailments and agony. Therefore, our brethren in Palestine are being murdered and tortured, justice is being violated, and as a result territories in Lebanon, the Golan and Palestine have been occupied by those who even killed the principle of equality when they claimed that [G-d] created a people distinguished above all other peoples. We notice them aggressing against Moslem and Christian Holy sites in Palestine, violating the sanctity of the Holy Mosque (Al Aqsa), of the Church of the Sepulchre in Jerusalem and of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. They try to kill all the principles of divine faiths with the same mentality of betraying Jesus Christ and torturing him, and in the same way that they tried to commit treachery against the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him).
This is not the kind of diatribe that can be left unremarked without signalling purposeful silence. And the silence, we think, says more about what the Christian world thinks about the Jewish people than all of the pious and earnest sounding absolutions and outreach.
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Nothing in the NEW Paris Proposal differs much from what was offered by Olmert and rejected by Abbas
No longer will delegitimization efforts go unchallenged. That’s a silence we will continue to break.
Increasingly, Sweden is becoming a country where anti-Semitism & supporting terrorism is acceptable.
The problem with US treatment of Israel did not start with Obama but with birth of Jewish State
The pathetic failure of the Marianne to reach Gaza is the best thing that has happened to Israel since Hamas mis-fired a rocket on its own civilians.
Wonder why Israel has the world’s most insane rules of engagement imposed on its military? Read on..
Think political Islam’s a problem now just wait until an Islamist nuclear umbrella covers the region
Fiorina’s wrong about Islam which embraces our death&destruction confusing pc theories for hard fact
Bangladesh PM Hasina is fighting terror not only for her nation but for the entire civilized world.
No necessity to redefine marriage, just address equal rights for couples in non-nuclear families
PM Netanyahu has pledged the nation won’t rest until the hero Eli Cohen is returned home to Israel
“Palestinian armed groups” & “local authorities” are named in the report; Hamas’ absence stands out
Dating apps have really changed the way many young Jews approach dating.
The families of those slain even publicly forgave the murderer. Charleston was serene and at peace.
The court’s finding that the president has exclusive jurisdiction in recognizing foreign countries might have been be apt if the issue at hand were a congressional attempt to grant recognition to “Palestine” as a state.
It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.
Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?
There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-popes-trip/2001/06/06/
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