Photo: AFP
Bad relations: Pope and Vatican singled out Jewish state
Photo: AFP

Ancient prejudice guides Vatican

The failure of the Pope to condemn terror in Israel and the Vatican's attempt to single out Jewish state for attack are guided by traditional Christian anti-Semitism

The recent diplomatic storm between Israel and the Vatican has served as a useful spotlight on the reemergence of an ancient prejudice.


It all started when the pope prayed for the “murderous hand” of terror to be stopped, and blasted the “abhorrent terrorist attacks,” in Britain, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.


When Israel naturally protested its exclusion from the Pope’s list of terror afflicted nations, the Vatican responded by telling the world that “not every attack against Israel could be followed by an immediate public condemnation."


It seems, then, that the pope is happy to condemn terrorism against Britons, Turks, Egyptians and Iraqis, but the blood of the Israeli people is viewed cheaply in Rome.


Why should this be the case?


"There are various reasons for this,” says the Vatican. “Among them the fact that attacks against Israel were sometimes followed by immediate Israeli reactions not always compatible with the norms of international law. It would, consequently, have been impossible to condemn the former and remain silent on the latter."


This argument is dripping with hypocrisy, as any cursory examination of it will show.


According to the Vatican’s claims, terrorist attacks against countries deemed by the pope to be in violation of international law should not be immediately and publicly condemned.


Theological Bias


Yet for some reason, this principle was not applied by the Vatican to Britain.


The United Kingdom’s presence and actions in Iraq, wholly in violation of international law according to the United Nations, did not cause the Pope to withhold an “immediate public condemnation” of the suicide bomb attacks against Londoners.


What then is the source of this discriminatory and deceitful double standard?


According to an explanation offered by Rome's chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni, the Holy See was acting like "a political institution, with precise interests to protect in the chess game of the Middle East."


"I hope that Benedict, who knows theology so well, will quickly try to also grasp the ways of politics and the art of diplomacy," Di Segni said.


But Di Segni seems to have the picture back to front. It is the precisely the theology of the Catholic Church, which still holds the Jewish people responsible for the "murder" of the Christian deity, that renders it incapable of condemning the slaughter of Israeli civilians.


This theology, which is directly responsible for 1,700 years of murderous anti-Semitism, is what causes the Vatican today to trip over itself in fumbling attempts to explain its double standards when it comes to Israel and her struggle against terrorism.


The institution that, for nearly for two millennia, has charged the Jewish nation with collective guilt for the killing of its god, can’t unconditionally denounce terrorism against the Jewish state, but can take a stand against the jihad on all other nations. Is this a mere coincidence?


It may not be diplomatic to say so, but it is time to confront the fact that the Vatican’s recent behavior stems from none other than traditional Christian anti-Semitism.


In light of this, the decision to invite the Pope to Israel should be urgently reconsidered.


Yaakov Lappin is an editor at Ynetnews


פרסום ראשון: 07.31.05, 18:05
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