Actions and words paint a sorry picture of the Vatican and Israel.
I always had the feeling that Pope Francis would be eager to engage in the presentation of a cordial dialogue with Di\aspora Jews and that if this occurred, he would address the Holocaust and condemn anti-Semitism in general, but also undermine and isolate the State of Israel, the existential anchor of the Jewish people.
The confirmation came this week.
To the disappointment of Israeli officials, Pope Francis will not host mass for believers within Israel during his next trip to the Jewish State in March 2014. However, the Pope will host a large mass in Bethlehem and that will be the headline event of his trip.
The Pope will deliver the greatest gift to Palestinianism, which draws on the two theological elements of anti-Judaism: “supersessionism”, the idea that Muslim-Christian unity replaced Israel, and the demonization of Jews for seizing a country which was not theirs. This is the meaning of the Pope’s decision to host a mass in the Palestinian Authority’s areas. The present Pope wants to visit his dear friends in what the Holy See brands as “Palestine”.
It is the blood libel of Israel’s “occupation” partnered with the return to the Catholic cycle of existential denial in which Israel is not “Israel”, but the usurper of an identity, of a history, of a name and of a land.
For more than a hundred years, and five decades after the Holocaust, the Vatican has kept a very hostile attitude toward the establishment of a national Jewish home in the land of Israel. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Popes have adopted a policy sympathetic to its Arab and Muslim enemies.
Pope Francis will spend most of his time in Israel in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. In Vatican policy and in Francis’s conception, the Holocaust is the counterweight to the recognition of the Jewish condition in politics and history, which is the recognition of Jews as a people with a state in Israel.
The Catholic recognition of the Holocaust (dead Jews) justifies the denial of the Jews as a sovereign subject of history (living Jews). It is Yad Vashem versus Bethlehem.
If these are the Pope’s conditions for traveling to Israel, why not declare him “persona non grata”? If Francis goes to Bethlehem to proclaim it “a Golgotha under occupation”, if he curses Israeli Jews exercising their right to defend themselves, if he asks the Palestinian Arabs “to resist”, then we have the right to call the Pope an anti-Semite.
The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book “A New Shoah”, that researched the personal stories of Israel’s terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He has just prblished a book about the Vatican and Israel titled “J’Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel” published by Mantua Books.