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On a Good Pope, a Bad Politician and an Evil General

Speaker of the Knesset attacks Holy See



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He is the Speaker of the Knesset, enjoying thus the best seat; nobody blocks his view up there. He is the first one to get the tea in the morning and always, always gets crispy cookies; the stale ones go to the opposition. He even gets personal updates from the chefs, those indefatigable conspirators. Reuven Rivlin is his name. Good position he got. It demands integrity, integrity and a bit more integrity. Does this lawyer of the Mishpaha Lohemet, proud member of the Likud, stands to the task? Did the Knesset take the right decision when voting him for the job with an overwhelming 75% rate of approval?

The task of checking out the integrity issue was an easy one. The best point to begin it is with Rivlin’s words in early 2009, when the Pope Benedict XVI visited Jerusalem. Rivlin berated the pope over his address at Yad Vashem:

Reuven Rivlin (right) and Friends

Reuven Rivlin (right) and Friends

"With all due respect to the Holy See, we cannot ignore the burden he bears, as a young German who joined the Hitler Youth and as a person who joined Hitler's army, which was an instrument in the extermination," Rivlin told Israel Radio and added: "He came and told us as if he were a historian, someone looking in from the sidelines, about things that should not have happened. And what can you do? He was a part of them."

Rivlin bent reality backwards here. Soon afterwards the Holy See spokesman made a distinction between convinced Hitler Youth activists and members of the anti-aircraft units. "The Hitler Youth was a corps of volunteers, fanatically, ideologically for the Nazis," Lombardi said. The anti-aircraft auxiliary corps the pope was enrolled in towards the end of the war "had absolutely nothing to do with the Hitler Youth and the Nazis and Nazi ideology", he added.

"It is important to say what is true and not to say false things about a very sensitive thing like this," Lombardi summarized, putting Rivlin in his right place.

This berating seems to be a planned attitude of the Israeli Administration toward the Holy See, in the best tradition of those abusive tones so favored by Jews. Recently I reported on an outrageous article called “Is the Vatican Training Hezbollah?” that appeared in Haaretz, the most serious Israeli newspaper.

Rivlin is at the very top of the Israeli Administration. He can hardly say he doesn’t know what is happening, especially since he is regularly updated. As such, he probably did hear about Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, Head of the General Headquarter (direct translation of the highest position in the IDF) since 2007. I’m confident that not only he had heard the name, but that he also met the man in many different occasions. I’m sure he heard about the brutal IDF attack on Gaza that lead to the Goldstone Report that defines Israel as a terrorist organization. I’m convinced that he even heard that the report was adopted by the Human Rights Commission of the UN. Rivlin is a well informed Speaker of the Knesset, Alleluia!

Rivlin is a lawyer. He knows that all this information sums up to a very clear picture: the IDF under the leadership of Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi committed War Crimes in Gaza. White phosphorous artillery shells where dropped over hospitals. Yet, he keeps quiet on this issue. Quoting again Rivlin’s offensive words toward the Pope: “He came and told us as if he were a historian, someone looking in from the sidelines, about things that should not have happened. And what can you do? He was a part of them,” it becomes clear than this ugly distortion of reality turned around and applies now to Rivlin himself, he is part of them. A man with no Word, a man with no Honor.

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