Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Israel in May certainly raised eyebrows, caution and the ire of many. A number of people and groups are calling his visit a success, but successful in accomplishing what?
Commencing his trip to the middle-east in Jordan (on Friday, 8 May 2009), the Pope was scheduled to “arrive on the Mount of Olives by helicopter on Monday to begin a five-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian areas”.
Leading up to the visit, Israeli Rabbi David Rosen said that he believed Pope Benedict “is a genuine friend of the Jewish people.”
Interestingly, Prof. Sergio Itzhak Minerbi (a “veteran Vatican watcher” and “former lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Haifa University as well as an Israeli ambassador to several European nations”) notes that Benedict “in his former role as [Pope] John Paul's chief theological adviser, Ratzinger once wrote that the express purpose of interfaith dialogue is to convert non-Catholics to the faith” and believes that “John Paul II sought to “Christianize the Holocaust,” a trend he feels Benedict has followed”.
While still Karol Wojtyla, the Archbishop of Krakow in Poland, John Paul II had started advocating for the placement of a convent at Auschwitz in honour of a certain Jewish convert to Catholicism who had died there and was later beatified by the Church. Then, when he paid a visit to Auschwitz as Pope in June 1979, John Paul gave a speech in which he referred to the site as "the Golgotha of the modern world."
“The pope said 'here six million Poles were killed, a fifth of the Polish nation.' There was no mention of Jews. This is Christianizing the Shoah, and trying to make it a Polish/Catholic tragedy,” charges Minerbi.He concedes that a few days later John Paul clarified that indeed Hitler killed six million Jews. But still, he sees John Paul II as attempting to rewrite this dark chapter in Jewish history from a purely Christian perspective, or at the very least to relieve the Catholic Church of its underlying responsibility for the Holocaust by presenting it as also a “victim” of the Nazi genocide.Rosen, meanwhile, finds these accusations untenable, adding that, “it is highly inappropriate to deny someone the right to see history through the prism of his own faith.”But Minerbi won't relent.
“In his visit to Yad Vashem, John Paul II said that the Nazi's anti- Semitism was the product of a godless, pagan regime, and said nothing about the centuries of anti-Semitic teachings of the Church. It was wrong for Israel to stay silent on this.”He claims that as John Paul's closest adviser, Ratzinger adopted this line as well, as evidenced in an essay published in December 2000 which started out: “The Nazis, willing to hit Christianity in its Abrahamic roots, killed the Jews.”
On Wednesday 13 May, whilst continuing his week-long pilgrimage to the “Holy Land”, not Israel, “Pope Benedict … called for a 'sovereign Palestinian homeland' and identified with Palestinian 'suffering' during a one-day visit to Bethlehem and other parts of the West Bank”.
"Mr. President [Muhmud Abbas], 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 neighbours, within internationally recognized borders," the pontiff said. "I know how much you have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of the turmoil that has afflicted this land for decades," he added.
A century ago, the Christian and Roman Catholic population of Israel was around 20 percent, now that population is down to just 5 percent. Though the “Christian” population sided with Islam against the creation and declaration of Israel, Christians still suffered persecution from the Muslims. And “Christians” such as Elias Chacour (author of Blood Brothers), it seems, have well been used to prop up “pro-Palestinian / anti- Jewish” sentiment in the west.
As pawns of Islam, their time has well and truly come to an end, where Islam no longer needs them; and as they have always been treated, these dhimmis now have little choice, but to convert to Islam or leave Muslim “Palestinian” controlled territory for good - which raises the claim of double standards where these “Palestinians” (though Christian ones) decried Israel over their supposed loss of familial and historic land, but basically just shut up, pack-up and leave before the face of Islam.During one interfaith dialogue meeting held during his tour, “The Pope walked out … when Palestinian cleric Sheik Tayseer al-Tamimi urged him to help end 'the crimes of the Jewish state', including 'killing Gaza's children,' 'destroying mosques' and 'bulldozing Palestinian homes'. He described the separation barrier built by Israel as the 'racist wall', which had 'turned it (the West Bank) into a giant prison and keeps Muslims and Christians from praying in their churches and mosques'.
He told the Pope: 'I call on you in the name of the one God to condemn these crimes and pressure the Israeli Government to stop its aggression against the Palestinian people.' ”But whose “one God” does the sheik refer to: Yahweh (Jehovah) or Allah?
Whilst in Jordan, before his tour of Israel, Pope Benedict “told the audience in the mainly Muslim country that he had 'deep respect' for Islam, but he stopped short of making an apology some Muslims had wanted for a speech three years ago in which he quoted a Byzantine emperor saying Islam was violent”.
It's amazing that Muslims are offended by a quote calling them “violent” whilst at the same time using violence to encourage “Palestinian Christians” to leave “Palestine”. And even more amazingly, Palestinian Authority President Muhmud Abbas “slammed the 42-year Israeli occupation and the severe restrictions on movement faced by his people in their lands. 'In this holy land there are those who continue to build separation walls instead of bridges and who try to compel Muslims and Christians to leave the country,' Abbas said.” Hypocrite!
But the greatest hypocrisy is that the Pope, the United States and the United Nations are all calling for a Two-State Solution of Israel and Palestine. How is it that they forget that the two-state solution was created in the division of the Palestinian Mandate with the creation of Jordan (for the Arabs) and Israel (for the Jews). Now they want to repeat the process within Israel's borders … and for what purpose? Peace?
The lessons of the past aren't being forgotten, they're being deliberately ignored, and history will repeat itself.Benedict's visit to Israel is nothing but a publicity stunt to bring Rome to the negotiating table between Israel and Islam, with the papacy as mediator … This is nothing new, but definitely something noteworthy. The road to Armageddon is well on the way to being paved.
Author B Michael Bigg