Mixed Israeli press reaction to Benedict’s Yad Vashem speech

May 12, 2009

pope-yad-smallPope Benedict was never going to please his critics in Israel, so it’s not surprising that today’s headlines were almost all negative about his speech at Yad Vashem yesterday. Reading the English-language press this morning, I was interested in seeing the nuances in the different reactions. Here are a few examples of what I found:

In Haaretz, the main headline read “Survivors angered by Benedict’s ‘lukewarm’ speech.'” That story focused on the reaction from Yad Vashem officials as we reported yesterday. You can see a PDF of its front page here. The two commentaries were more nuanced than the main story.

(Photo: Pope Benedict at Yad Vashem, 11 May 2009/Yannis Behrakis)

Tom Segev’s front-page analysis “Someone in Rome chose ‘killed'” focused on the way Benedict described the Holocaust victims’ fate: “He inexplicably said Jews “were killed,” as if it had been an unfortunate accident. On the surface, this may seem unimportant: Israelis often use the same term, and they do not need the pope to tell them about the Holocaust, which today is a universal code for absolute evil. But the word the pope used is significant because someone in the Holy See decided to write “were killed” instead of “murdered” or “destroyed.” The impression is that the cardinals argued among themselves over whether Israelis “deserve” for the pope to say “were murdered” and decided they only deserve “were killed.” It sounded petty.

Even the recurring use of the term “tragedy” seemed like an attempt to avoid saying the real thing. The verbal stinginess Benedict displayed last night also diminishes the impact of anything he might say about Palestinian suffering. Had he said what he needed to on the Holocaust, he could have said more to condemn Israel’s systematic violation of the human rights of residents of the West Bank and Gaza..

In “Speaking to his own flock,” Lily Galili said Benedict wasn’t actually speaking to Jews in his address, but to Catholics. “It isn’t his fault that we were disappointed. We don’t understand the Catholic Church and its dogma. At Yad Vashem yesterday, he was not addressing the Jews. Like any leader he used words that would be understood by his support base, the Church’s one billion adherents around the world.” She said Benedict, as Cardinal Ratzinger, opposed the sweeping Millennium apology that Pope John Paul made for all the sins committed by the Church. But Benedict had become more flexible since becoming pope, she argued. “Considering his reputation as a conservative, his visit to Israel in itself is a big compromise.”

Here’s a video of some reactions yesterday, followed by more press comment from today below the screen. The video starts with a fiery speech by a Muslim cleric in the pope’s presence, which led to criticism from both the Vatican and Israeli rabbis.

The headline on the Jerusalem Post‘s front-page news story read: “Pope stops short of Holocaust apology in Yad Vashem speech. The updated online version is here. Its “Pope in Israel” section online has links to several articles, including one asking “Was there a Jewish Pope?”

Ynetnews, the English-language website of the daily Yedioth Ahronoth, had a news wrapup and a selection of views about the visit. One entitled “Shoah survivor: criticism of pope exaggerated” quoted the head of the Consortium of Holocaust Survivors’ Organizations in Israel, Noah Frug, as saying: “(The pope) is not the president of a Zionist organization, so why should we have any complaints towards him? He came here to bring the Church and Judaism closer together, and we should consider his visit positive and important.”

A contrasting view came from Zeev Factor of the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel, who said, “As a native of the county that carried out (the Holocaust), I would expect the pope to declare that anti-Semitism is a sin; as a religious man he is supposed to condemn the phenomenon. In any case it is good that he arrived (in Israel); this way we know what people have learned and what they’ve forgotten.”

Nitzan Horowitz doesn’t mince words in his article Making things worse, with its second part entitled Disrespecting other faiths. His opening words give the flavour of his viewpoint: “Joseph Ratzinger, also known as Pope Benedict XVI, bears the responsibility for the suffering of numerous people. The influential guest … is among the most conservative Church figures. The message he brings with him, as a supreme religious leader who according to Catholic tradition cannot be wrong, is not one of compassion, understanding, or tolerance. In fact, this pope brings a wholly different message: One of indifference, strictness, and religious radicalism.”

What do you think of these reactions?


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

@The message he brings with him, as a supreme religious leader who according to Catholic tradition cannot be wrong, is not one of compassion, understanding, or tolerance. In fact, this pope brings a wholly different message: One of indifference, strictness, and religious radicalism.”

The Church will never have tolerance to deception and falsehood. It will always preach the truth.

The critics of the Pope and the Papacy wants him to be humiliated and wants him to ask for apology even for the sins that the Church had not committed. But the critics doesnt observe the same intensity towards the Jews who killed our Lord Jesus Christ and to Muslims who slaughtered many Priests, Nuns and Lay people alike. These facts are glaring that they chose to ignore. They are showing their hypocrisy. Jesus once warned for us to beware those who wear sheep’s clothing but inside are ravenous wolves who are ready to devour their prey.

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

Okay, I’ve pretty much had it! This is beyond ridiculous! So now the Holy Father is nice enough to show up to a Holocaust memorial (which he didn’t have to do by the way), and renounce the hatred that caused the Holocaust, vowing to never let it be repeated, and all he gets for it is this? THIS!?! This is the thanks he gets?! They attack him for not attacking the Catholic Church?! They attack him for not apologizing for something neither he nor the Church is responsible for?! They attack him for his unfortunate heritage of having been a teenage boy who lived under the reign of Nazi Germany?! Unbelievable!!! I’ve had it with this politically correct LIBERAL FASCISM! So you’ll have to excuse me while I cut loose a bit.

My God is Jewish. His name is Yeshua HaMashiach (or “Jesus Christ” in English). I am a member of a religion (The Roman Catholic Church) which came down to us through the Mosaic Law, the Kingdom of Israel, then the promised Messiah and his apostles – all of them Jewish. I believe that anyone who hates Jews, for no other reason than being Jews, is a racist monster and ultimately a God hater.

The reason why the pope did not apologize for the Church at the Holocaust memorial, is because the Church is not responsible for the Holocaust. If the Catholic Church were responsible, then it would have reason to apologize, but an apology means nothing if the one doing the apology had nothing to do with the thing that needed to be apologized for. It has been well proved, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Pope Pius XII saved nearly a million Jews from the hands of the Nazis, that Hitler himself wanted the pope kidnapped, and that the Soviet KGB was responsible for spreading lies about Pius XII after his death, implicating him as complicit in the Holocaust, for the purpose of undermining the moral authority of the Catholic Church in Western Europe during the Cold War. If you say Pius XII, or the Catholic Church, had any role in promoting the Holocaust, then you are repeating the propaganda lies of Communists from a failed Communist state. That’s what these Israeli Jews are doing with the pope right now. They’re repeating Communist propaganda, and promoting the agenda of the KGB. But is it really the KGB’s agenda anymore? Not likely, since former operatives within that organization now freely admit the whole thing was propaganda.

This Masonic monument marks the entry into Israel from Egypt. It’s designed to send a clear message of who controls the fate and future of Israel.

Now this should not surprise us when we consider just who is in control of the modern Israeli state. Freemasons have a long history of animosity toward the Catholic Church, and you could say the Catholic Church stands squarely against everything the Freemasons work toward. I would not be the least bit surprised if Freemasons were behind the continued KGB propaganda blitz against Pius XII long after the fall of the Soviet Union. I dare say that they are the ones keeping it alive, for their own purposes, which are designed to further undermine Catholicism.

The ultimate goal of Freemasonry is to rebuild Solomon’s Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Why? Because the Masonic religion (if you can call it that), is chalk full of imagery and symbolism hearkening back to the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. Masons trace their lineage to the Knight’s Templar, and while this may or may not be their actual lineage, the Freemasons believe it is. Rebuilding the ancient Temple means a lot to Freemasons, and now that they control both the United States and the European Union, it is within their reach. Let us not forget the Masonic imagery on American money, and the bleak mason-like temple that lies beneath with United Nations building….

So now let’s look at the pawns of this Masonic agenda. First you have the United States and the European Union, controlled entirely by the Masonic brotherhood. Is it a secret conspiracy? Of course not! This is out in the open, and hid from no one. All you need to do is pick up an American dollar bill and look at the back side. Then of course you have the modern nation-state of Israel, also under control of the brotherhood. Is this a secret? Of course not! It’s openly advertised at Israel’s border with Egypt for everyone to see upon entering the country.

So now that we know who the pawns are, I guess the next question is who are the suckers? Essentially there are three suckers in this whole scheme. The first suckers are the Israeli Jews, and any Jew for that matter, who buys into the KGB nonsense that the wartime pope and the Catholic Church are somehow responsible for the Holocaust. I must say, the Communists (and now the Freemasons) are playing them quite well. The second suckers are American Evangelicals, who are told to blindly support Israel no matter what because it is “God’s chosen nation.” This in spite of the fact that modern Zionism was practically invented by Freemasons in 1896 and the modern nation-state of Israel was created by Masonic cooperation in 1948. The third suckers are liberal to moderate Catholics, so watered down in their faith by Modernism, that they’re willing to believe the anti-Catholic propaganda about the wartime Pope Pius XII, and go along with Evangelicals in their blind support of the Israeli nation.

The Jewish people, particularly Israeli Jews, are being used. They’re victims, and they’re pawns in a much bigger scheme. Their attacks against the pope are not Jewish in origin. Those attacks come straight from the Masonic Lodge.

The pope goes to Israel as an emissary of peace, supporting the only thing that might possibly prevent World War III – that being the “two-state solution.” Now that Israel exists as a nation-state, it has just as much a right to survive as Canada, America, France, Germany or Britain. However, at the same time the sovereignty of non-Israeli Arabs (both Christians and Muslims) must be recognized. There is no other way outside of all out war.

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive