During his four years as Pope, Francis has continually put significant barriers in the way of peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and instead strengthened Abbas’s refusal to negotiate with the Jewish State.
By: Giulio Meotti, The Gatestone Institute
Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas’ activities in Rome began on January 14, with the formal opening of the Palestinian Embassy to the Vatican.
The “Palestinian president,” now in the 12th year of his four-year term, then met with Pope Francis for the third time since the start of his papacy four years ago. The high-profile get-together took place in the middle of the Palestinian attempt to bypass peace talks with Israel and to internationalize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A few weeks ago, the UN Security Council (UNSV), in Resolution 2334, condemned Israel for its “settlements” – failing to mention any wrongdoing, such as countless Palestinian stabbings and car-rammings of Israeli civilians – and the Obama Administration, which had planned and orchestrated the UN ambush, refused, for the first time in 40 years, to veto the anti-Israel resolution, thereby ensuring it would pass.
This week, on January 15, 2017, the “Palestinian question” dominated the French “peace conference” in Paris. By opening the Palestinian embassy during this critical time of intensified anti-Israel animosity, was the Pope justifying the Palestinian-Arab attempt to isolate the Jewish State and to impose on it unacceptable conditions of surrender through international pressure?
Unfortunately, Pope Francis’s papacy has been marked by a long list of anti-Israel gestures that did not advance the cause of peace, which the Pope claims to champion.
When the Pope visited Israel in 2014, he was photographed praying at Israel’s security barrier, which had been created simply to stop the wave of Palestinian suicide bombing attacks against Israeli civilians. The Pope stood before graffiti that compared Palestinians with Jews under the Nazis. “Bethlehem looks like the Warsaw Ghetto,” the graffiti read. If it does, it only looks that way because, since the once Christian-majority city Bethlehem was transferred to total Palestinian Authority control in 1995, most of its beleaguered Christians have fled, due to Muslim persecution.
Sadly, Francis’s homily, delivered in Bethlehem, did not contain the language of peace; just admonition of Israel: “Are we like Mary and Joseph, who welcomed Jesus and cared for him with the love of a father and mother? Or are we like Herod, who wanted to eliminate him?” Was Pope Francis, as analyst Caroline Glick wrote, likening the Israelis to Herod, when it is the Palestinians who, like Herod, want to eliminate the Jews?
The Pope also met with Palestinian “refugees,” as if the 1948 war were the source of conflict between the two peoples, instead of centuries of Muslims having displaced Christians and other non-Muslims from Persia, the Christian Byzantine Empire, North Africa, Southern Spain, and most of Eastern Europe.
Pope Francis then accepted an invitation to visit — along with Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem — the Temple Mount, Judaism’s most sacred site also the third holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina. But this is the same Palestinian Mufti who justifies terrorism against the Israelis by saying, among other inflammatory declarations, that “the Hour of Resurrection will not come until you fight the Jews.”
A year before his visit in the region, Pope Francis, greeting the Catholic faithful at the General Audience in Rome, said:
“I ask you to pray for the peace in the Middle East: in Syria, in Iraq, in Egypt, in Lebanon and in the Holy Land, where the Prince of Peace is born”.
Was it so difficult for the head of the Catholic Church to say the word “Israel,” instead of the sanitized “Holy Land”?
Previously, when he visited the shrine of St. Francis in Assisi, the Pope said:
“Let us listen to the cry of all those who are weeping, who are suffering and who are dying because of violence, terrorism or war, in the Holy Land, so dear to Saint Francis, in Syria, throughout the Middle East and everywhere in the world.”
Again, the Pope refused to mention any Israeli Jews among the victims of terrorism.
In the days before the launch of a devastating “Third Intifada” against the Israeli civilians, the Pope called Mahmoud Abbas an “angel of peace”. Really? An angel of peace? According to Rabbi Shmuely Boteach, “Abbas spent his life murdering Jews,” by financing the Munich terror attack in 1972, by inciting against Jews and by glorifying Palestinian terrorists. The Pope, in short is praising a corrupt supporter of terrorists, a torturer who has abolished any democratic process in the Palestinian-administered territories.
In May 2015, on “Naqba Day” (“Catastrophe Day”) — commemorating the day of Israel’s birth, when five Arab countries launched a war against Israel to wipe it out in its cradle, but lost the war — Pope Francis gave the Palestinians another symbolic victory by signing the treaty which formally recognized a “State of Palestine.”
During these four years, Pope Francis has continually put significant barriers in the way of peace between Israelis and Palestinians — a peace based on dialogue, mutual respect and the end of conflict. Instead, this supposed man of peace has strengthened Abbas’s refusal to negotiate with the Jews — the Christians’ “elder brothers,” as Pope John Paul II bravely called them — and to end hostilities with them. If this is his view of Caritas, what a tragic shame.
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.
President-elect Trump’s recently announced plans to have the incoming U.S. ambassador to Israel live in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 already recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and instructs the executive branch to move the embassy or file a national security waiver. With the U.S ambassador to Israel living in Jerusalem what would be the implications for the region if the U.S. moved its embassy to the city as well?
Critics warn that moving the embassy to Jerusalem will spark international protests and cause more instability in the region. Secretary John Kerry warned that “you would have an explosion, an absolute explosion” in the Middle East. The head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas in a letter to Trump wrote that moving the embassy will “have destructive consequences on the peace process, the two state solution and the safety and security of the region.”
By “explosion” Secretary Kerry probably means an increase in the frequency and strength of Islamic terrorist attacks on the Israelis, Arab states cutting off relations with the U.S. and Israel, or Israel’s neighbors declaring war on the country.
Israel suffered Hamas rocket attacks in the past and is currently undergoing a wave of terror perpetrated by Palestinians. It is the stated goal of the Palestinian terrorists to attack Israel. In its charter Hamas promises to wage jihad against the country and the Israeli Defense Minister suspects that the organization is trying to develop new offensive capabilities in order to do so. So Israel will probably continue to see a spike in terrorist attacks regardless of whether the U.S. moves its embassy to Jerusalem.
Arab states will likely issue condemnations if the U.S. moves its embassy, but they would not cut off ties with America or Israel. Middle Eastern regimes need U.S. help in fighting ISIS and finance their own military operations. Given Arab dependence on U.S. aid it is unlikely they would want to jeopardize their relations with Washington over an embassy.
There is no fear of Arab economic boycotts because Israel’s neighbors have maintainedsanctions on the country for decades.
Israel’s neighbors need its help in countering the growing Iranian influence in the region. With Iran and Hezbollah giving military aid to the Assad regime, Israel’s Sunni neighbors might want to consider possible cooperation with Tel-Aviv. In a move that might signal cooperation, the former intelligence chiefs of Saudi Arabia and Israel held a public meeting. If the Arabs want Israeli help then they are unlikely to jeopardize their already fragile relations over the U.S. embassy.
Despite Abbas’ warnings, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem could make the peace process easier. It would send a clear message to the PA that the U.S. considers Jerusalem to be part of Israel. Instead of having our embassy located in Jerusalem U.S. issue waivers that have delayed the move. To the PA this probably looks like America wavering in its support to Israel because the U.S. is failing to keep up its promise. Moving the embassy will send a message that Washington keeps its promises and does not waiver in support of its allies.
Hon beskrivs som framgångsteolog, där tron på Gud ger pengar och framgång, och är sedan lång tid tillbaka vän med Donald Trump. Paula White leder en megakyrka i Florida, och är även känd via sitt eget tv-program ”Paula White today”.
Påstås förneka treenighet
– En treenighetsförnekande heretiker kommer att leda bönen på Trumps installation, kommenterade författaren Erick Erickson valet av henne, enligt Washington Post.
Han fortsätter att det vore bättre om en hindu ledde förbönen, för då skulle ingen kunna förledas till att tro att det var ”en representant av Kristus kungadöme”.
– Absurda anklagelser, svarar Paula White sina kritiker i CNN.
Men helt klart är att valet av religiösa ledare visat sig vara kontroversiellt, precis som så mycket annat när det gäller Donald Trump. Även en annan pastor som är med vid installation, den färgade pastorn Wayne T Jackson, beskrivs som framgångsteolog.
Men trots denna kritik går det knappast att anklaga Donald Trump för att han bara omger sig med ja-sägare. Tre av dem som ska vara med och be för honom har riktat skarp kritik, mot hans migrationslagar, mot registrering av muslimer samt det planerade murbygget mot Mexiko. Och de religiösa ledarna representerar en stor mångfald.
Fyra pastorer kommer att delta, och förutom de två ovan nämnda är det Samuel Rodriguez, pingstpastor som når ut till människor med latinamerikansk bakgrund, samt Franklin Graham, som bland annat ledde bönen då Donald Trump var på tackturné efter valsegern.
– Gud uppenbarade sig, var Franklin Grahams kommentar där till att Trump så oväntat lyckades vinna presidentvalet.
Utöver en kvartett av protestantiska pastorer kommer också en katolsk ärkebiskop och en rabbin medverka.
Timothy Dolan är kardinal samt ärkebiskop av New York, och har som alla andra fått kritik för att han ska medverka vid förbönsstunden.
– Hade Hillary Clinton vunnit valet och bjudit in mig, hade det varit en lika stor ära, säger han, enligt Catholic Herald.
Han menar att det är hans heliga plikt att vara med och be.
Den enda icke-kristna religiösa ledaren som medverkar vid installationen är rabbinen Marvin Hier. Han bor i Los Angeles, där han grundat Simon Wiesenthal Center.
En våg av kritik har strömmat in från judiskt håll efter att han med stolthet tackade ja till att medverka. Bland annat har en protestlista cirkulerat för att få Marvin Hier att ändra sig.
Men det ser ut som om han blir den första rabbinen sedan 1985 att delta vid en presidentinstallation, trots att det finns personer i Trumps stab som kritiseras för antisemitiska åsikter.
Att Donald Trump väljer en rabbin har att göra med att hans dotter Ivanka konverterat till judendomen. Hon gjorde det efter att ha gift sig med Jared Kushner, vars judiska familj donerat stora summor till Simon Wiesenthal Center, vars grundare nu får vara med och be för USA:s 45:e president.
Pastor Franklin Graham, ledare för organisationen Samaritan’s Purse.
Pastor Paula White, ledare för New Destiny Christian Center.
Pastor Wayne T. Jackson, ledare för Great Faith Ministries.
Timothy Dolan, katolsk ärkebiskop av New York, samt kardinal. (Har kritiserat Trump för tuffare migrationspolitik.)
Pastor Samuel Rodriguez, ledare för National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. (Har kritiserat Trump för murbygget mot Mexiko.)
Marvin Hier, rabbin och grundare av Simon Wiesenthal Center International. (Har kritiserat Trump för viljan att registrera muslimer.)
A joint declaration released after Sunday’s international conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict called on both sides to officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution and said participants in the summit had resolved to meet before the end of 2017 in support of the two-state solution.
The declaration also called on Israelis and Palestinians to ”independently demonstrate, through policy and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution and refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcomes of negotiations on final status issues”.
It also said the pre-1967 war borders should provide the basis for negotiations.
Sources in Jerusalem told i24news that Israel’s fierce reaction to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2334 and efforts of individuals in Jerusalem had succeeded in softening the text of the declaration, specifically preventing certain controversial clauses in the resolution from being included in the declaration.
The United Kingdom declined to sign the declaration, citing ”reservations” over a summit in which neither party to negotiations participated ”just days before the transition to a new American president”.
The Palestine Liberation Organization, meanwhile, welcomed the declaration ”which stressed the need to end the Israeli occupation,” PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat said.
The PLO also called on conference host France ”to immediately recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital,” and urged all of the approximately 70 countries that attended the meeting in Paris to ”recognize Palestine in line with their recognition of Israel”.
Earlier, US Secretary of State John Kerry told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from Paris that the United States was taking action to soften the final text of the statement.
Netanyahu told Kerry that the damage was already done by the Obama administration’s decision not to veto Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as illegal, and said further damage must be prevented.
Kerry assured Netanyahu that there would be no follow-up to the conference and that the US will oppose any related resolution that may be pushed at the UNSC.
Earlier Sunday, France warned that moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would result in ”serious consequences.”
Trump during his campaign pledged to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to relocate his country’s embassy there.
Palestinians view the move as being severely destructive and a unilateral action, as the status of the city is still contested.
”Of course [it’s a provocation]. I think he would not be able to do it,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in an interview with France 3 television on the sidelines of the Paris Peace Conference. ”It would have extremely serious consequences and it’s not the first time that it’s on the agenda of a US president, but none have let themselves make that decision.”
”One cannot have such a clear-cut, unilateral position. You have to create the conditions for peace,” Ayrault added.
At the conference, Foreign ministers and representatives from around 70 countries, the United Nations, European Union, Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation, seek to revive the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process, five days before Trump is to assume office.
Neither Israel nor the Palestinians will be represented at the conference and Netanyahu has dismissed the talks as ”rigged” against Israel.
The Palestinians, in contrast, have welcomed France’s bid for the conference to reaffirm global support for a two-state solution to the seven-decade-old conflict.
Peace efforts have been at a standstill since April 2014.