Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pope Blasts Israel's Separation Fence

Speaking in Bethelem, Pope Benedict XVI criticized Israel's separation fence.

The pontiff said, "Towering over us, as we gather here this afternoon, is a stark reminder of the stalemate that relations between Israelis and Palestinians seem to have reached -- the wall. How we earnestly pray for an end to the hostilities that have caused this wall to be built."

Well, as far as I am concerned the hostilities are a one way street. I don't seem to recall Israelis going into Gaza with bombs strapped to their chests intent on killing innocent civilians.

It is worth noting the Pope sees fit to comment on the separation fence after Taysir al-Tamimi, the Chief Justice of the Palestinian Shari'a Courts, gave some impromptu remarks after the Pope spoke at an interfaith conference at a church in Jerusalem two days ago.

In the spirit of interfaith tolerance, al-Tamimi called the separation fence "a racist wall" which prevented "Muslims and Christians form praying in their mosques and churches." He went on to accuse Israel of deliberating slaughter women, children and the elderly in the presence of the Pope.

It is true the Pope left the proceedings after he learned what al-Tamimi had said. It is also true the Vatican issued a statement taking al-Tamimi to task for his remarks. But the fact the Pope should go to the separation fence and criticize it without regard for Israel's security after al-Tamimi had done so effectively legitimizes al-Tamimi's criticisms.

If the Pope is trying to make up for consecrating a bishop who denied the Holocaust he is doing a horrible job. The sooner he leaves Israel the better.


Anderson said...

I do not see how the Pope is criticizing the fence. He may be implicitly criticizing the "stalemate" between Israel and Palestine, though what he clearly says is to pray for peace between the two.

That he said it after al-Tamimi's remarks was not the best timing, and if he said so knowing al-Tamimi had made those remarks, then it was very poor judgment. I would hope that the Pope know better than to stir up political controversy on his own without having third parties taking his words out of context.

Aaron Goldstein said...


The Pope specifically criticized the fence as "a stark reminder of the stalemate that relations between Israelis and Palestinians seem to have reached - the wall,''

The Pope went on to say:

"In a world where more and more borders are being opened up - to trade, to travel, to movement of peoples, to cultural exchanges - it is tragic to see walls still being erected. I have seen, adjoining the camp and overshadowing much of Bethlehem, the wall that intrudes into your territories, separating neighbours and dividing families."

And whose fault is it that Israel erected the separation barrier? Perhaps if Palestinian children weren't taught that Jews were apes and pigs and that it is their solemn duty as Muslims to kill Jews perhaps we could have the trade, travel and cultural exchanges of which the Pope speaks so fondly.

If there was no Palestinian terrorism there would be no separation fence. The Pope should put the blame where it belongs.

Debra J.M. Smith said...

It is so very inappropriate for a man, the Pope, who was once in Hitler's army to be over in Israel to begin with, much less telling them to be at peace with anyone. And considering the horrendously abusive history of the Roman Catholic Church, all the current day abuse included, he has some nerve going and trying to clean up Israel's back yard. I stand against the Catholic Church leaders and all that Catholicism stands for. I stand with Israel. … Debra J.M. Smith of