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October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
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The Palestinians, the Pope and Peace

In venting their anger about a wreath for Herzl, the Palestinians demonstrate that their real problem with Israel isn’t about borders. It is, instead, an argument about the legitimacy of a Jewish state.
Jonathan S. Tobin is Senior Online Editor of Commentary magazine.

Jonathan S. Tobin is Senior Online Editor of Commentary magazine.
Photo Credit: Commentarymagazine.com

Jews rightly see the pope’s presence at Mount Herzl, as a much needed act of historical justice. During his campaign to gain international recognition for the right of the Jewish people to return to their homeland and create their own state, Herzl visited Francis’ predecessor Pope Pius X 110 years ago.

That pope contemptuously rejected Herzl’s plea, a response that was very much in keeping with Catholic doctrine at the time that regarded perpetual exile as an appropriate punishment for the Jewish people for their refusal to accept Christianity. Fortunately, Popes John XXIII and John Paul II have already changed the church’s attitude toward Judaism and Zionism. While most Jews may disagree with some of the Vatican’s policies with regards to the Palestinians, there is no question that the two faiths are now closer than they have ever been. By paying his respects to Herzl, Francis is solidifying that bond.

But until the Palestinians give up their war on Zionism and find a way to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. The papal visit may not change much about interfaith relations but, unfortunately, that one stop on his itinerary demonstrates just how unlikely peace remains.

About the Author: Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of Commentary magazine and chief political blogger at www.commentarymagazine.com, where this first appeared. He can be reached via e-mail at jtobin@commentarymagazine.com.


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8 Responses to “The Palestinians, the Pope and Peace”

  1. It fits. Hertzl wanted the Jews to convert to Christianity…

  2. It fits. Hertzl wanted the Jews to convert to Christianity…

  3. It fits. Hertzl wanted the Jews to convert to Christianity…

  4. The Pope is a good man just like the royal family, only price Charles Lol, but but I believe everything has a fix, we have to get to know people better and their political and social background before we hope into conclusions. Thank

  5. And you can still be Jewish and Catholic and keep regular customs, it does not matter family brothers.

  6. Lies. He plagiarized his findings. I wonder what happens when people find out I’m not dead and start suing for theft and plagiarizing? Lies .0001%, one person out of 1000. Was against a Jewish state. One person. One person. Angry someone is using my knowledge and research for evil purposes

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Pope Francis for trying to make peace. Although meeting with an Imam who calls for genocide is a bit insensitive. But here's some information that you need to know. There never has been, there is not now and there never will be a country called "Palestine." The Arab/ Moslems squatting on land in and around Israel are overwhelmingly either descendants of invaders, illegal immigrants or trespassers. The term "Palestinian" was popularized after the Six Day War in '67 in an attempt to delegitimize Israel. There are already 21 Arab/ Moslem dominated countries spread out over a few millions square miles of territory. The Arab/ Moslems are not interested in creating a 22nd Arab controlled country. Their only desire is to annihilate the one and only Jewish state.

  8. Ch Hoffman says:

    Tobin is as adept at playing the victim card as any of the soft-right at Commentary.

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