Over the weekend, the pope ended his week-long trip to the Holy Land. One Israeli columnist described him as restrained and cold:

…The pontiff, described by one Israeli newspaper columnist as coming across as “restrained, almost cold”, prayed at Judaism’s Western Wall and visited Islam’s Dome of the Rock…In the prayer he slotted into a stone crevice…Pope Benedict mentioned in general terms “the suffering and the pain of all your people throughout the world” and called for peace in the Middle East.

Others made similar observations about the Pope’s demeanor:

…The chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, who is a Holocaust survivor, expressed disappointment at the pope’s speech, saying…“Something was missing. There was no mention of the Germans or the Nazis who participated in the butchery, nor a word of regret,” Lau said. “If not an apology, then an expression of remorse.”

Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev said that the “certain restraint” in the formulation of the speech was a “missed opportunity.”

“I did not expect an apology, but we expected more,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “This is certainly no historic landmark.”

“I had expected a historic speech from the German pope at the site which is a memorial altar for the victims of Nazi Germany,” said Prof. Shevah Weiss, a former Yad Vashem chairman and Holocaust survivor. “And though the speech was moving - it wasn’t that.” […]


The pope’s speech [at the Holocaust Memorial Museum] did not once mention “Nazis” or “murder.”

“One would have expected the Vatican’s cardinals to prepare a more intelligent text for their boss,” one columnist, Tom Segev, wrote.

It’s no wonder that the pope comes across as cold and restrained, detached and unemotional, and that he speaks in general terms. For he is resigned to the next Shoah, which he knows is just around the corner.

His words are necessarily hollow, for the anti-Semitism which he made an attempt to condemn plagues the other, much more numerous and politically powerful population he’s trying to do “right” by — that is, appease: the Muslims. On whose behalf he called for the immediate creation of a Palestinian state:

“I was shocked to hear that the first thing the pope had to say when he landed in Israel was that the Holy Land must be divided to make room for a Palestinian state,” said Joseph Gerlitzky, rabbi of central Tel Aviv and chairman of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace…”I suggest that he divide Rome…”


…The visit included a private meeting with the top Islamic cleric in the Holy Land, the Grand Mufti Mohammed Hussein. Hussein said afterward that he told the pope of the Palestinians’ suffering “and we asked for justice in this Holy Land.” He also handed the pope a letter urging the Vatican to use its influence to end Israel’s “aggression” against the Palestinians. Asked how the pope responded, he replied, “We felt he was receptive.” […]

The pope’s holy book tells him to stand by Israel, not find a compromise between Israel and murderous insanity that announces daily its intentions to not relent until all of Israel belongs to it. Therefore, the pope is less than Christian.

In an email I received titled “What the Pope Taught the World”, Israeli writer and activist Naomi Ragen wrote:

The Pope’s recent visit to Bethlehem was one of the most blatant displays of capitulation to terrorism that has been seen in recent years. How well I remember the way Christians were treated by Arafat’s henchmen, including Mahmoud Abbas, his right hand man, during the Intifada. The Christian community was decimated, and is now only twenty percent of the population, when it was once the majority. Christian girls were kidnapped, raped, and forced to convert to Islam. Christians were kicked out of their homes by gunmen, who used Christian neighborhoods to set up sniper nests from which they shot into Jewish homes in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood, and passing cars on the road (Dr. Shmuel Gillis, on whom I patterned the hero of my book, The Covenant, was killed on his way home from treating cancer patients at Hadassah Hospital by such a sniper.)

And then there was the siege of the Church of the Nativity. The priests and children held hostage by Arafat’s gunmen. The church desecrated. Priests holding up signs at the windows to Israeli soldiers “Please help us!”

The Pope, standing side by side with Abbas, chose to forget these things. His words: “Mr. President, 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 neighbors, within internationally recognized borders.”

This is the voice of a religious leader, a moral force in the world? For choosing to forget all that happened to Christians in one of Christianity’s holiest sites, he has chosen the way of appeasement, not peace. Of cowardly acquiescence to evil, instead of forthright defense of the helpless. He has nothing to teach us Jews. Indeed, he has nothing to teach Catholics. The only people who may learn from him are Muslim terrorists. And the lesson is clear. The leader of the Catholic world — once again — in the face of evil, has decided to side with the oppressors against the oppressed. One would think a German Pope would have something wiser to impart.

Regan’s email called attention to an article by WND’s Aaron Klein:

During Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Bethlehem today, the pontiff did not address rampant Muslim persecution of Christians and stood by as Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas lied about the real reason behind local Christians fleeing.

In a major address, the pontiff strongly supported a Palestinian state.

Perhaps he does not realize recent history demonstrates such a state may lead to increased persecution and endangerment of Palestinian Christians.

In Bethlehem, where the Christian population has dropped from a majority to less than 20 percent, Benedict delivered a special message of solidarity to the 1.4 million Palestinians isolated in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

“My heart goes out to the pilgrims from war-torn Gaza: I ask you to bring back to your families and your communities my warm embrace, and my sorrow for the loss, the hardship and the suffering you have had to endure,” the pope said in his address at an open-air Mass in Manger Square.

“Please be assured of my solidarity with you in the immense work of rebuilding which now lies ahead, and my prayers that the embargo will soon be lifted,” he added.

By referencing the “war-torn Gaza” and necessary “rebuilding,” the pope was apparently fingering Israel’s recent 22-day confrontation with Hamas as the cause for “the suffering” Gazans “had to endure.”

He said nothing, however, of the suffering of Gaza’s 3,000 Christians since Hamas took over that territory in 2007. Benedict might well have decried the many bombings, shootings and other Islamist attacks against Gazan Christian establishments, the brutal murder of the territory’s only Bible-store owner, or the regular intimidation and persecution of Christians there. His solidarity with Gazan Christians might have given them some much-needed strength.

Benedict, speaking from Bethlehem – the site of rampant Muslim persecution of Christians – did not once renounce the Islamic violence there, either. Instead, the pope stood beside Abbas as the Palestinian leader deceptively pointed to a concrete separation barrier in Bethlehem and blamed that barrier, as well as Israeli “occupation,” for the plight of Christians.

“In this Holy Land, the occupation still continues building separation walls,” Abbas said. “Instead of building the bridge that can link us, they are using the force of occupation to force Muslims and Christians to emigrate.”

…Actually, it was Abbas’ own Fatah party that is causing Christians to flee…[A]fter the Palestinians gained the territory, reports of Christian intimidation by Muslims began to surface, reports the pope would do well to note since they may foreshadow what is to come under a Palestinian state.

One religious novelty-store owner I met recently told me Muslim gangs regularly deface Christian property.
“We are harassed, but you wouldn’t know the truth. No one says anything publicly about the Muslims. This is why Christians are running away.”

Meanwhile, Benedict’s call for a Palestinian state would bring complete PA control over more territory in which Christians reside. Thus, his call, if implemented, may well result in even more Christian deaths, persecution and intimidation.

A closing note on a paragraph that appears in the first Reuters report linked above. There is a paragraph that reads:

The Dome stands at the spot where all three great monotheistic religions believe Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son to God, before an angel stayed his hand. King Solomon and his successors built Jewish temples there before the Romans razed the Second Temple in 70 AD and Jews scattered in exile.

Even though Abraham had more than one son, notice that the writing doesn’t name which one it’s referring to — that is, which son Abraham was commanded to sacrifice. There is a dhimmi editorial reason for this: Although everyone knows that the son was Isaac, Muslims naturally claim it was Ishmael. And so it looks like, in deference to the Koran, news organizations have started to stop using the well-known, original, Judeo-Christian version of the story.