Archive for the ‘Shimon Peres’ Category

Alexander Mashkevich to Launch ‘News’ Network

April 12, 2011

World ‘Jewish’ Congress President, Alexander Mashkevich to take time away from predation of Russian and Ukrainian children; strip mining the wealth of East Europe and Africa and buying off Orthodox church leaders to start a ‘news’ network that will ‘tell the truth’ about ‘Israel.’


Coming soon: Jewish ‘al-Jazeera’

Dr. Alexander Mashkevich announces plan to form pro-Israel international news network. ‘It won’t be a propaganda channel, but will simply tell the truth,’ he tells Ynet during Jewish leaders conference

WASHINGTON – Dr. Alexander Mashkevich, president of the United Israel Appeal’s annual conference of Jewish leaders in Washington, has announced his plan to form a pro-Israel international news network, similar to al-Jazeera and the BBC.

This year’s conference focused on attempts to deal with the de-legitimization campaign against Israel, and was attended by some 200 Jewish community leaders and key philanthropists.

An announcement on the creation of the international news network was made at the end of the conference, with the aim of dealing with anti-Israel defamation in the media and influence public opinion.

Mashkevich, who also serves as president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, said that the network would offer programs in English, French, Arabic and Spanish, focusing on news only.

“My intention is not to create a propaganda channel,” he told Ynet, “but simply a channel telling the truth.

“Unfortunately, in the current situation most channels simply don’t tell the truth about Israel,” he explained. “Every day that passes we lose the battle for Israel’s image. I am sure that Goldstone is a decent person, who didn’t want to damage Israel consciously and intentionally, but if everything he gets from the media every day is anti-Israel propaganda, I assume it’s hard to make the right decisions.”

full article:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4054096,00.html

also see:

World Jewish Congress Oligarch Chartered Child-Rape Boat

Get to Know Alexander Mashkevich

New Knucklehead Billionaires, Same Old Judaism

“In the East, all our ‘anti-Semites’ sit in prison”

Pope Benedict and his “Jewish brother,” Alexander Mashkevich
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Shimon Peres, Pope Continue 17 Year Dialogue on Church Properties

August 31, 2010

Note the patience and care that goes into Vatican-‘Israel’ dialogue regarding Church properties in contrast to the ‘dialogue’ by which Church teaching is circumvented and overthrown.

AsiaNews (Tel Aviv) – On Thursday, the President of the State of Israel, will be received in Audience at Castelgandolfo by Pope Benedict XVI. In preparation for this appointment, the octogenarian Head of State told an interviewer on the First Channel of Italy’s public television (RAI): “The relations between the Vatican and the Jewish State are the best since the times of Jesus Christ, and have never been so good in two thousand years of history.” He added too: “The reigning Pontiff wishes to have a sincere dialogue with us, as we wish to have with the Vatican” …

There is then still some way to go in order for the “dialogue” mentioned by President Peres to achieve its purposes completely. However, the forward-looking optimism of the President of Israel is promising, and in fact it seems that both Parties are working towards that goal and are making steady progress.

… Father David-Maria A. Jaeger, an expert on Church-State relations in Israel, tells AsiaNews: “Especially in the last few years, it appears that the negotiations, which in effect constitute this ‘dialogue’ – to which President Peres refers – between the Holy See and the State of Israel, are being pursued by both Parties with great seriousness and commitment, as is evident from the ‘Joint Communiqués’ released from time to time by the Bilateral Commission. Though without ignoring the problems in various sectors of the day-to-day relations between the Church and the State, optimism is obligatory, and such optimism in itself has a decidedly beneficial influence.” He adds too: “In the end, obstinate optimism endows the experience of daily life with an eschatological horizon.”

Also see:

Israeli Terrorist, Shimon Peres Surprise Keynote Speaker at ‘Congress of World Religions’

Will Benedict’s “Pilgrimage” Boost “Israel’s” Image or Destroy His Own?

USCCB States Principles for “Dialogue” Fraud

‘Truth’ Synthesized Dialogically

Papal Commission Promotes Noahide Laws

Declassified: Israeli Government Offered to Sell Nuclear Weapons to South Africa

May 24, 2010

Zionist nuclear hypocrites are seeking sanctions and war against Iran, a nation that complies with the nuclear regulations that the Israelis violate.

Shortly following the brutal Dec. 2008 Israeli assault on Gaza, Benedict XVI warmly embraced Israeli terrorist Shimon Perez who offered to sell nuclear weapons to South Africa in 1975.

From The Guardian:

Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons

Secret apartheid-era papers give first official evidence of Israeli nuclear weapons

The secret military agreement signed by Shimon Peres and P W Botha

The secret military agreement signed by Shimon Peres, now president of Israel, and P W Botha of South Africa. Photograph: Guardia


Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state’s possession of nuclear weapons.

The “top secret” minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa’s defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel’s defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them “in three sizes”. The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that “the very existence of this agreement” was to remain secret.

The documents, uncovered by an American academic, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, in research for a book on the close relationship between the two countries, provide evidence that Israel has nuclear weapons despite its policy of “ambiguity” in neither confirming nor denying their existence.

The Israeli authorities tried to stop South Africa’s post-apartheid government declassifying the documents at Polakow-Suransky’s request and the revelations will be an embarrassment, particularly as this week’s nuclear non-proliferation talks in New York focus on the Middle East.

They will also undermine Israel’s attempts to suggest that, if it has nuclear weapons, it is a “responsible” power that would not misuse them, whereas countries such as Iran cannot be trusted.

South African documents show that the apartheid-era military wanted the missiles as a deterrent and for potential strikes against neighbouring states.

The documents show both sides met on 31 March 1975. Polakow-Suransky writes in his book published in the US this week, The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s secret alliance with apartheid South Africa. At the talks Israeli officials “formally offered to sell South Africa some of the nuclear-capable Jericho missiles in its arsenal”.

Among those attending the meeting was the South African military chief of staff, Lieutenant General RF Armstrong. He immediately drew up a memo in which he laid out the benefits of South Africa obtaining the Jericho missiles but only if they were fitted with nuclear weapons.

The memo, marked “top secret” and dated the same day as the meeting with the Israelis, has previously been revealed but its context was not fully understood because it was not known to be directly linked to the Israeli offer on the same day and that it was the basis for a direct request to Israel. In it, Armstrong writes: “In considering the merits of a weapon system such as the one being offered, certain assumptions have been made: a) That the missiles will be armed with nuclear warheads manufactured in RSA (Republic of South Africa) or acquired elsewhere.”

But South Africa was years from being able to build atomic weapons. A little more than two months later, on 4 June, Peres and Botha met in Zurich. By then the Jericho project had the codename Chalet.

The top secret minutes of the meeting record that: “Minister Botha expressed interest in a limited number of units of Chalet subject to the correct payload being available.” The document then records: “Minister Peres said the correct payload was available in three sizes. Minister Botha expressed his appreciation and said that he would ask for advice.” The “three sizes” are believed to refer to the conventional, chemical and nuclear weapons.

The use of a euphemism, the “correct payload”, reflects Israeli sensitivity over the nuclear issue and would not have been used had it been referring to conventional weapons. It can also only have meant nuclear warheads as Armstrong’s memorandum makes clear South Africa was interested in the Jericho missiles solely as a means of delivering nuclear weapons.

In addition, the only payload the South Africans would have needed to obtain from Israel was nuclear. The South Africans were capable of putting together other warheads.

Botha did not go ahead with the deal in part because of the cost. In addition, any deal would have to have had final approval by Israel’s prime minister and it is uncertain it would have been forthcoming.

South Africa eventually built its own nuclear bombs, albeit possibly with Israeli assistance. But the collaboration on military technology only grew over the following years. South Africa also provided much of the yellowcake uranium that Israel required to develop its weapons.

The documents confirm accounts by a former South African naval commander, Dieter Gerhardt – jailed in 1983 for spying for the Soviet Union. After his release with the collapse of apartheid, Gerhardt said there was an agreement between Israel and South Africa called Chalet which involved an offer by the Jewish state to arm eight Jericho missiles with “special warheads”. Gerhardt said these were atomic bombs. But until now there has been no documentary evidence of the offer.

Some weeks before Peres made his offer of nuclear warheads to Botha, the two defence ministers signed a covert agreement governing the military alliance known as Secment. It was so secret that it included a denial of its own existence: “It is hereby expressly agreed that the very existence of this agreement… shall be secret and shall not be disclosed by either party”.

The agreement also said that neither party could unilaterally renounce it.

The existence of Israel’s nuclear weapons programme was revealed by Mordechai Vanunu to the Sunday Times in 1986. He provided photographs taken inside the Dimona nuclear site and gave detailed descriptions of the processes involved in producing part of the nuclear material but provided no written documentation.

Documents seized by Iranian students from the US embassy in Tehran after the 1979 revolution revealed the Shah expressed an interest to Israel in developing nuclear arms. But the South African documents offer confirmation Israel was in a position to arm Jericho missiles with nuclear warheads.

Israel pressured the present South African government not to declassify documents obtained by Polakow-Suransky. “The Israeli defence ministry tried to block my access to the Secment agreement on the grounds it was sensitive material, especially the signature and the date,” he said. “The South Africans didn’t seem to care; they blacked out a few lines and handed it over to me. The ANC government is not so worried about protecting the dirty laundry of the apartheid regime’s old allies.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/23/israel-south-africa-nuclear-weapons

Israeli Terrorist, Shimon Peres Surprise Keynote Speaker at ‘Congress of World Religions’

July 23, 2009
Ethnic/Religious Cleansing Advocate, Israeli Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger with Cardinal Jean-Luis Tauran (who identifies “The Holocaust” as the mystery of iniquity) at July 1-2, 2009 congress for “tolerance and cooperation between the religions” in Astana, Kazakhstan

The Vision of Shared Moral Values

Edda Schlager -Quantura

The third “Congress of World Religions” took place the first two days of July 2009 in Kazakhstan. By appealing for more tolerance and cooperation between the religions, the host country wants to raise its profile as international peacemaker.

“I come from the Middle East and therefore I prefer to sit in a pyramid – a better symbol than the Tower of Babel, which stands for people’s inability to understand each other.”

With these words Israeli president Shimon Peres voiced his approval of the venue in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana where the “Congress of World Religions” was held on 1 and 2 July [2009].

Over 500 members of all major religions from 35 different countries responded to the invitation, among them representatives of various Christian confessions such as Catholics, Russian-Orthodox and Protestants, along with Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists and Zoroastrians.

They all convened at the “Palace of Peace and Reconciliation,” a futuristic pyramid designed by star architect Sir Norman Foster for the capital city’s new centre.

Incursion of politics into religion

Apparently, not all of the participants understood the call for interreligious dialogue in the same way as the organisers. As Shimon Peres held his opening address, the Iranian delegation demonstratively walked out.

“We’ve come to hear religious leaders,” remarked Mehdi Mostafavi, president of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation in Iran. “Peres is not a religious leader, but a man of violence.”

The Iranian delegation didn’t find out until the day before the conference that Shimon Peres would not only attend, but had also been chosen as keynote speaker, and they reacted by threatening not to come. They did however return to the conference hall once Peres had finished his speech.

Despite this confrontation, those attending the conference were unanimous in their assessment that only mutual tolerance, understanding for the positions of the others and an active exchange on the existential problems of humanity could lead to lasting peace.

The dream of a new world order

Kazakhstan hosted the “Congress of World Religions” for the third time, after prior events in 2003 and 2006. With this initiative the country not only wants to enhance its status as international peacemaker amongst the religions – Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev also took advantage of the platform to pitch himself as initiator of a restructuring of the global order.

In his keynote speech, Nazarbayev linked the appeal for mutual understanding he addressed to the religious representatives in attendance with an analysis of the financial crisis: “The current crisis offers a unique opportunity to realise the dream of a new world order,” he pointed out. To pass up such a chance would be inexcusable …

Cardinal Jean-Luis Tauran, president of the Papal Council for Interreligious Dialogue and leader of the Catholic delegation in Astana, reminded the attendees in his greeting address that peace must be based on justice.

“I don’t like the word ‘tolerance’,” Tauran commented. “It’s frequently misused. A brother does not want to be tolerated, but to be loved.” According to Tauran, Pope Benedict XVI was also following the congress with a great deal of goodwill.

The Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, sees the main job of religious leaders as consisting in “strengthening trust, justice and moral values.” Metzger admonished the participants not to “misuse religious places to spread terrorism or as weapons depots” …

In their closing note the participants in the conference spoke out on behalf of “shared moral values” as the only way to avoid interreligious and interconfessional conflicts. They voiced the hope that interreligious dialogue could help to circumvent stereotypes, prejudices and religious disputes …

full article:

http://en.qantara.de/webcom/show_article.php/_c-478/_nr-923/i.html

Israeli Terrorist, Shimon Peres Surprise Keynote Speaker at ‘Congress of World Religions’

July 23, 2009
Ethnic/Religious Cleansing Advocate, Israeli Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger with Cardinal Jean-Luis Tauran (who identifies “The Holocaust” as the mystery of iniquity) at July 1-2, 2009 congress for “tolerance and cooperation between the religions” in Astana, Kazakhstan

The Vision of Shared Moral Values

Edda Schlager -Quantura

The third “Congress of World Religions” took place the first two days of July 2009 in Kazakhstan. By appealing for more tolerance and cooperation between the religions, the host country wants to raise its profile as international peacemaker.

“I come from the Middle East and therefore I prefer to sit in a pyramid – a better symbol than the Tower of Babel, which stands for people’s inability to understand each other.”

With these words Israeli president Shimon Peres voiced his approval of the venue in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana where the “Congress of World Religions” was held on 1 and 2 July [2009].

Over 500 members of all major religions from 35 different countries responded to the invitation, among them representatives of various Christian confessions such as Catholics, Russian-Orthodox and Protestants, along with Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists and Zoroastrians.

They all convened at the “Palace of Peace and Reconciliation,” a futuristic pyramid designed by star architect Sir Norman Foster for the capital city’s new centre.

Incursion of politics into religion

Apparently, not all of the participants understood the call for interreligious dialogue in the same way as the organisers. As Shimon Peres held his opening address, the Iranian delegation demonstratively walked out.

“We’ve come to hear religious leaders,” remarked Mehdi Mostafavi, president of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation in Iran. “Peres is not a religious leader, but a man of violence.”

The Iranian delegation didn’t find out until the day before the conference that Shimon Peres would not only attend, but had also been chosen as keynote speaker, and they reacted by threatening not to come. They did however return to the conference hall once Peres had finished his speech.

Despite this confrontation, those attending the conference were unanimous in their assessment that only mutual tolerance, understanding for the positions of the others and an active exchange on the existential problems of humanity could lead to lasting peace.

The dream of a new world order

Kazakhstan hosted the “Congress of World Religions” for the third time, after prior events in 2003 and 2006. With this initiative the country not only wants to enhance its status as international peacemaker amongst the religions – Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev also took advantage of the platform to pitch himself as initiator of a restructuring of the global order.

In his keynote speech, Nazarbayev linked the appeal for mutual understanding he addressed to the religious representatives in attendance with an analysis of the financial crisis: “The current crisis offers a unique opportunity to realise the dream of a new world order,” he pointed out. To pass up such a chance would be inexcusable …

Cardinal Jean-Luis Tauran, president of the Papal Council for Interreligious Dialogue and leader of the Catholic delegation in Astana, reminded the attendees in his greeting address that peace must be based on justice.

“I don’t like the word ‘tolerance’,” Tauran commented. “It’s frequently misused. A brother does not want to be tolerated, but to be loved.” According to Tauran, Pope Benedict XVI was also following the congress with a great deal of goodwill.

The Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, sees the main job of religious leaders as consisting in “strengthening trust, justice and moral values.” Metzger admonished the participants not to “misuse religious places to spread terrorism or as weapons depots” …

In their closing note the participants in the conference spoke out on behalf of “shared moral values” as the only way to avoid interreligious and interconfessional conflicts. They voiced the hope that interreligious dialogue could help to circumvent stereotypes, prejudices and religious disputes …

full article:

http://en.qantara.de/webcom/show_article.php/_c-478/_nr-923/i.html

Benedict’s Hasbara Mission

May 14, 2009

While “hasbara” translates most directly as “explanation,” what it has come to mean in practical terms is “any mechanism for making brutal, racist Israeli policy and practice seem palatable to the world.”

Benedict XVI validates war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu, May 14, 2009 near the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth in another yin yang photo op. During Netanyahu’s first term as Israeli Prime Minister he pitted Muslims against Christians by approving construction of a Mosque on the site of the Annunciation.

***
… as one [Israeli] government adviser told the Haaretz newspaper: “We have become pariahs in so many places around the globe. Promoting the Pope’s visit to the state is part of changing that.”

Pope’s ‘Pilgrimage’ Mired in Politics

05/14/2009

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

… Before he arrived in the region, the Pope declared that he was coming as a “pilgrim of peace”, with his staff accentuating that his role would be spiritual rather than political.

In truth, however, Pope Benedict’s visit was mired in politics the moment he agreed, at the invitation of Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, to step into this conflict-torn region.

The two popes who preceded him to the Holy Land appear to have better appreciated that point.

The first, Paul VI, made a hurried 12-hour stop in 1964, before the Vatican and Israel had established diplomatic relations, to conduct a Mass in Nazareth. During that time he did not utter the word “Israel” or formally meet with an Israeli official.

The second, John Paul II, came to the Holy Land in radically different circumstances: for the millennium, when hopes were still bright for the peace process. The Vatican had recognized Israel a few years earlier and the pontiff worked hard to soothe long-standing Jewish grievances against the Catholic church.

But he is also remembered by Palestinians for his bold move in joining Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, on a visit to the Deheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, where he cited UN resolutions against Israel and graphically described the “degrading conditions” under which Palestinians lived.

A decade on, the degrading conditions of occupation have worsened considerably and hopes of peace have vanished. In the circumstances, some Palestinians question what point a papal visit has served.

“The very act of coming here is a political act that works to the benefit of Israel,” observed Mazin Qumsiyeh, a prominent peace activist who teaches at the West Bank’s only Catholic university, in Bethlehem.

“This Pope’s visit, unlike his predecessor’s, offers no novelty — apart from his decision to stand next to [the Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu and legitimize an extreme right-wing government.”

Israeli officials too are unpersuaded by the Pope’s claim that he can avoid being dragged into local politics. Or as one government adviser told the Haaretz newspaper: “We have become pariahs in so many places around the globe. Promoting the Pope’s visit to the state is part of changing that.”

Israel has established the largest press centre in the country’s history for this visit, while police have broken up attempts by Palestinian organizations in Jerusalem to present a rival picture to journalists.

The attempts at careful stage management began from the moment the Pope’s plane touched down in Tel Aviv on Monday. At the reception, Pope Benedict stood between Mr Netanyahu and Mr Peres to listen not only to the Israeli national anthem but also to Jerusalem of Gold, a song popularised by soldiers during the capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war.

The lyrics — offensive to Palestinians — describe an empty and neglected city before the arrival of Jews.

Similarly, Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, made a point of welcoming him to the “capital of Israel and the Jewish people”, a description of Jerusalem not recognized in international law.

After the Pope failed to object, the Israeli media happily concluded that the country’s occupation of Jerusalem had papal blessing.

In addition, Palestinians, including the 100,000 with ties to Rome, have been angered by the Pope’s official meeting with the parents of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a humanitarian gesture made political for them by the fact that he has not extended the same courtesy to the parents of any of the thousands of Palestinians in Israeli captivity.

Many Palestinians appreciate that the Pope — with his unfortunate, if apparently involuntary, connections to Nazi Germany — has been especially careful not to offend Israeli sensitivities, even if his speech at Yad Vashem failed to live up to the country’s high expectations.

But some also conclude that he has done too little to let the world know of their own plight.

Under pressure from Israel he has refused to visit Gaza, even at the beseeching of the tiny and besieged community of Catholics there.

Yesterday, to minimize Israel’s embarrassment, Vatican officials tried as best they could to keep him out of view of the oppressive wall that encircles Bethlehem. But he did speak to the press outside a UN school at a refugee camp within metres of the wall.

And today, as he headed to Nazareth to celebrate mass, he will not meet Mazin Ghanaim, mayor of the Galilee town of Sakhnin, after Israel labelled Mr Ghanaim a “supporter of terror” for criticizing its offensive in Gaza …

But Israel has not been able to control the message completely. On his one-day trip to Bethlehem and the Aida refugee camp yesterday, the Pope did acknowledge Palestinian suffering and the destruction of Gaza, even if he blamed it vaguely on “the turmoil that has afflicted this land for decades”.

He lamented the difficulties Palestinians face in reaching their holy places in Jerusalem, though he appeared to justify the restrictions on Israel’s “serious security concerns”.

And he criticized the building of a wall around Bethlehem, while attributing its construction to the “stalemate” in relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

full article:

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=15101

Benedict’s Hasbara Mission

May 14, 2009

While “hasbara” translates most directly as “explanation,” what it has come to mean in practical terms is “any mechanism for making brutal, racist Israeli policy and practice seem palatable to the world.”

Benedict XVI validates war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu, May 14, 2009 near the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. During Netanyahu’s first term as Israeli Prime Minister he pitted Muslims against Christians by approving construction of a Mosque on the site of the Annunciation.

***
… as one [Israeli] government adviser told the Haaretz newspaper: “We have become pariahs in so many places around the globe. Promoting the Pope’s visit to the state is part of changing that.”

Pope’s ‘Pilgrimage’ Mired in Politics

05/14/2009

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

… Before he arrived in the region, the Pope declared that he was coming as a “pilgrim of peace”, with his staff accentuating that his role would be spiritual rather than political.

In truth, however, Pope Benedict’s visit was mired in politics the moment he agreed, at the invitation of Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, to step into this conflict-torn region.

The two popes who preceded him to the Holy Land appear to have better appreciated that point.

The first, Paul VI, made a hurried 12-hour stop in 1964, before the Vatican and Israel had established diplomatic relations, to conduct a Mass in Nazareth. During that time he did not utter the word “Israel” or formally meet with an Israeli official.

The second, John Paul II, came to the Holy Land in radically different circumstances: for the millennium, when hopes were still bright for the peace process. The Vatican had recognized Israel a few years earlier and the pontiff worked hard to soothe long-standing Jewish grievances against the Catholic church.

But he is also remembered by Palestinians for his bold move in joining Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, on a visit to the Deheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, where he cited UN resolutions against Israel and graphically described the “degrading conditions” under which Palestinians lived.

A decade on, the degrading conditions of occupation have worsened considerably and hopes of peace have vanished. In the circumstances, some Palestinians question what point a papal visit has served.

“The very act of coming here is a political act that works to the benefit of Israel,” observed Mazin Qumsiyeh, a prominent peace activist who teaches at the West Bank’s only Catholic university, in Bethlehem.

“This Pope’s visit, unlike his predecessor’s, offers no novelty — apart from his decision to stand next to [the Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu and legitimize an extreme right-wing government.”

Israeli officials too are unpersuaded by the Pope’s claim that he can avoid being dragged into local politics. Or as one government adviser told the Haaretz newspaper: “We have become pariahs in so many places around the globe. Promoting the Pope’s visit to the state is part of changing that.”

Israel has established the largest press centre in the country’s history for this visit, while police have broken up attempts by Palestinian organizations in Jerusalem to present a rival picture to journalists.

The attempts at careful stage management began from the moment the Pope’s plane touched down in Tel Aviv on Monday. At the reception, Pope Benedict stood between Mr Netanyahu and Mr Peres to listen not only to the Israeli national anthem but also to Jerusalem of Gold, a song popularised by soldiers during the capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war.

The lyrics — offensive to Palestinians — describe an empty and neglected city before the arrival of Jews.

Similarly, Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, made a point of welcoming him to the “capital of Israel and the Jewish people”, a description of Jerusalem not recognized in international law.

After the Pope failed to object, the Israeli media happily concluded that the country’s occupation of Jerusalem had papal blessing.

In addition, Palestinians, including the 100,000 with ties to Rome, have been angered by the Pope’s official meeting with the parents of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a humanitarian gesture made political for them by the fact that he has not extended the same courtesy to the parents of any of the thousands of Palestinians in Israeli captivity.

Many Palestinians appreciate that the Pope — with his unfortunate, if apparently involuntary, connections to Nazi Germany — has been especially careful not to offend Israeli sensitivities, even if his speech at Yad Vashem failed to live up to the country’s high expectations.

But some also conclude that he has done too little to let the world know of their own plight.

Under pressure from Israel he has refused to visit Gaza, even at the beseeching of the tiny and besieged community of Catholics there.

Yesterday, to minimize Israel’s embarrassment, Vatican officials tried as best they could to keep him out of view of the oppressive wall that encircles Bethlehem. But he did speak to the press outside a UN school at a refugee camp within metres of the wall.

And today, as he headed to Nazareth to celebrate mass, he will not meet Mazin Ghanaim, mayor of the Galilee town of Sakhnin, after Israel labelled Mr Ghanaim a “supporter of terror” for criticizing its offensive in Gaza …

But Israel has not been able to control the message completely. On his one-day trip to Bethlehem and the Aida refugee camp yesterday, the Pope did acknowledge Palestinian suffering and the destruction of Gaza, even if he blamed it vaguely on “the turmoil that has afflicted this land for decades”.

He lamented the difficulties Palestinians face in reaching their holy places in Jerusalem, though he appeared to justify the restrictions on Israel’s “serious security concerns”.

And he criticized the building of a wall around Bethlehem, while attributing its construction to the “stalemate” in relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

full article:

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=15101

Benedict’s Hasbara Mission

May 14, 2009

While “hasbara” translates most directly as “explanation,” what it has come to mean in practical terms is “any mechanism for making brutal, racist Israeli policy and practice seem palatable to the world.”

Benedict XVI validates war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu, May 14, 2009 near the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. During Netanyahu’s first term as Israeli Prime Minister he pitted Muslims against Christians by approving construction of a Mosque on the site of the Annunciation.

***
… as one [Israeli] government adviser told the Haaretz newspaper: “We have become pariahs in so many places around the globe. Promoting the Pope’s visit to the state is part of changing that.”

Pope’s ‘Pilgrimage’ Mired in Politics

05/14/2009

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

… Before he arrived in the region, the Pope declared that he was coming as a “pilgrim of peace”, with his staff accentuating that his role would be spiritual rather than political.

In truth, however, Pope Benedict’s visit was mired in politics the moment he agreed, at the invitation of Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, to step into this conflict-torn region.

The two popes who preceded him to the Holy Land appear to have better appreciated that point.

The first, Paul VI, made a hurried 12-hour stop in 1964, before the Vatican and Israel had established diplomatic relations, to conduct a Mass in Nazareth. During that time he did not utter the word “Israel” or formally meet with an Israeli official.

The second, John Paul II, came to the Holy Land in radically different circumstances: for the millennium, when hopes were still bright for the peace process. The Vatican had recognized Israel a few years earlier and the pontiff worked hard to soothe long-standing Jewish grievances against the Catholic church.

But he is also remembered by Palestinians for his bold move in joining Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, on a visit to the Deheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, where he cited UN resolutions against Israel and graphically described the “degrading conditions” under which Palestinians lived.

A decade on, the degrading conditions of occupation have worsened considerably and hopes of peace have vanished. In the circumstances, some Palestinians question what point a papal visit has served.

“The very act of coming here is a political act that works to the benefit of Israel,” observed Mazin Qumsiyeh, a prominent peace activist who teaches at the West Bank’s only Catholic university, in Bethlehem.

“This Pope’s visit, unlike his predecessor’s, offers no novelty — apart from his decision to stand next to [the Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu and legitimize an extreme right-wing government.”

Israeli officials too are unpersuaded by the Pope’s claim that he can avoid being dragged into local politics. Or as one government adviser told the Haaretz newspaper: “We have become pariahs in so many places around the globe. Promoting the Pope’s visit to the state is part of changing that.”

Israel has established the largest press centre in the country’s history for this visit, while police have broken up attempts by Palestinian organizations in Jerusalem to present a rival picture to journalists.

The attempts at careful stage management began from the moment the Pope’s plane touched down in Tel Aviv on Monday. At the reception, Pope Benedict stood between Mr Netanyahu and Mr Peres to listen not only to the Israeli national anthem but also to Jerusalem of Gold, a song popularised by soldiers during the capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war.

The lyrics — offensive to Palestinians — describe an empty and neglected city before the arrival of Jews.

Similarly, Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, made a point of welcoming him to the “capital of Israel and the Jewish people”, a description of Jerusalem not recognized in international law.

After the Pope failed to object, the Israeli media happily concluded that the country’s occupation of Jerusalem had papal blessing.

In addition, Palestinians, including the 100,000 with ties to Rome, have been angered by the Pope’s official meeting with the parents of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a humanitarian gesture made political for them by the fact that he has not extended the same courtesy to the parents of any of the thousands of Palestinians in Israeli captivity.

Many Palestinians appreciate that the Pope — with his unfortunate, if apparently involuntary, connections to Nazi Germany — has been especially careful not to offend Israeli sensitivities, even if his speech at Yad Vashem failed to live up to the country’s high expectations.

But some also conclude that he has done too little to let the world know of their own plight.

Under pressure from Israel he has refused to visit Gaza, even at the beseeching of the tiny and besieged community of Catholics there.

Yesterday, to minimize Israel’s embarrassment, Vatican officials tried as best they could to keep him out of view of the oppressive wall that encircles Bethlehem. But he did speak to the press outside a UN school at a refugee camp within metres of the wall.

And today, as he headed to Nazareth to celebrate mass, he will not meet Mazin Ghanaim, mayor of the Galilee town of Sakhnin, after Israel labelled Mr Ghanaim a “supporter of terror” for criticizing its offensive in Gaza …

But Israel has not been able to control the message completely. On his one-day trip to Bethlehem and the Aida refugee camp yesterday, the Pope did acknowledge Palestinian suffering and the destruction of Gaza, even if he blamed it vaguely on “the turmoil that has afflicted this land for decades”.

He lamented the difficulties Palestinians face in reaching their holy places in Jerusalem, though he appeared to justify the restrictions on Israel’s “serious security concerns”.

And he criticized the building of a wall around Bethlehem, while attributing its construction to the “stalemate” in relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

full article:

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=15101

Unofficial Itinerary for Papal Visit to "Israel"

March 6, 2009

It looks as though Benedict’s first order of business in counterfeit Israel will be a visit to Yad Vashem to sanctify the false world religion of Holocaustolatry. Benedict’s escort to the Yad Vashem religious monument to Judaic suffering will be Shimon Peres, a man who caused so much non-Judaic suffering, most notably the 1996 Israeli “Grapes of Wrath” terror assault on Lebanon and the Qana massacre. See:

The Israeli Massacre of Civilians at Qana

Following in the philo-rabbinic footsteps of his predecessor, JPII, Benedict will then prostrate himself at the Wailing Wall and likely beg forgiveness on behalf of the Apostles, Church Fathers and saints for their “teachings of contempt” which “paved the road to Auschwitz.”

Papal Holy Land Trip to Have Interreligious Focus

Unofficial Itinerary Reflects Attention to Jewish, Muslim Dialogue

JERUSALEM, MARCH 4, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will be taking many steps to promote interreligious dialogue during his May trip to the Holy Land, according to an unofficial itinerary.

Jean-Marie Allafort from “Un Echo d’Israel,” a Christian newsletter in Israel, spoke with ZENIT about the Pope’s unofficial schedule for the May 11-15 trip, though he said that “neither the Vatican nor the State of Israel has published the official program,” and some items are still being discussed.

According to Allafort, the trip will include a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and a welcome from both the Israeli and Palestinian Authority presidents.

Israeli President Shimon Peres is set to welcome the Holy Father on May 11, and together they will visit the Yad Vashem, according to the report. Later that evening, the Pontiff will attend an interreligious meeting before proceeding to the apostolic nunciature where he will reside during his stay,

On his second day in Israel, the Holy Father will meet with the mufti of Jerusalem and then go to the Wailing Wall to take part in a ceremony that will also be attended by the grand rabbis of Israel. Later that morning, he will visit the rabbinate of Israel.

At noon, the Holy Father will pray in the Cenacle, where Jesus held his Last Supper. And then he will visit the Latin patriarchate of Jerusalem to meet and lunch with the Catholic ordinaries of the Holy Land. That evening he will visit Gethsemane and celebrate a solemn Mass.

On May 13, the unofficial itinerary has Benedict XVI visiting Bethlehem, where he will be welcomed by the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and other Palestinian leaders. There he will visit the Basilica of the Nativity and celebrate Mass.

In the afternoon, he is set to visit a refugee camp near Bethlehem, as well as a work of charity, though this latter site has not been determined.

The program for Thursday, May 14, is still being considered, but the Holy Father is expected to celebrate Mass in the morning in Nazareth and meet with religious leaders of Galilee.

On his last day, the Bishop of Rome will visit the Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem in the patriarchate. Then he will go to the Holy Sepulcher where he will be received by the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, and where he will be spend time in prayer.

Later that morning, he will visit the Armenian neighborhood of the Old City of Jerusalem and meet with the Armenian Orthodox patriarch.

He is scheduled to leave Israel around 2 p.m. that afternoon.

http://www.zenit.org/article-25271?l=english

Unofficial Itinerary for Papal Visit to "Israel"

March 6, 2009

It looks as though Benedict’s first order of business in counterfeit Israel will be a visit to Yad Vashem to sanctify the false world religion of Holocaustolatry. Benedict’s escort to the Yad Vashem religious monument to Judaic suffering will be Shimon Peres, a man who caused so much non-Judaic suffering, most notably the 1996 Israeli “Grapes of Wrath” terror assault on Lebanon and the Qana massacre. See:

The Israeli Massacre of Civilians at Qana

Following in the philo-rabbinic footsteps of his predecessor, JPII, Benedict will then prostrate himself at the Wailing Wall and likely beg forgiveness on behalf of the Apostles, Church Fathers and saints for their “teachings of contempt” which “paved the road to Auschwitz.”

Papal Holy Land Trip to Have Interreligious Focus

Unofficial Itinerary Reflects Attention to Jewish, Muslim Dialogue

JERUSALEM, MARCH 4, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will be taking many steps to promote interreligious dialogue during his May trip to the Holy Land, according to an unofficial itinerary.

Jean-Marie Allafort from “Un Echo d’Israel,” a Christian newsletter in Israel, spoke with ZENIT about the Pope’s unofficial schedule for the May 11-15 trip, though he said that “neither the Vatican nor the State of Israel has published the official program,” and some items are still being discussed.

According to Allafort, the trip will include a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and a welcome from both the Israeli and Palestinian Authority presidents.

Israeli President Shimon Peres is set to welcome the Holy Father on May 11, and together they will visit the Yad Vashem, according to the report. Later that evening, the Pontiff will attend an interreligious meeting before proceeding to the apostolic nunciature where he will reside during his stay,

On his second day in Israel, the Holy Father will meet with the mufti of Jerusalem and then go to the Wailing Wall to take part in a ceremony that will also be attended by the grand rabbis of Israel. Later that morning, he will visit the rabbinate of Israel.

At noon, the Holy Father will pray in the Cenacle, where Jesus held his Last Supper. And then he will visit the Latin patriarchate of Jerusalem to meet and lunch with the Catholic ordinaries of the Holy Land. That evening he will visit Gethsemane and celebrate a solemn Mass.

On May 13, the unofficial itinerary has Benedict XVI visiting Bethlehem, where he will be welcomed by the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and other Palestinian leaders. There he will visit the Basilica of the Nativity and celebrate Mass.

In the afternoon, he is set to visit a refugee camp near Bethlehem, as well as a work of charity, though this latter site has not been determined.

The program for Thursday, May 14, is still being considered, but the Holy Father is expected to celebrate Mass in the morning in Nazareth and meet with religious leaders of Galilee.

On his last day, the Bishop of Rome will visit the Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem in the patriarchate. Then he will go to the Holy Sepulcher where he will be received by the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, and where he will be spend time in prayer.

Later that morning, he will visit the Armenian neighborhood of the Old City of Jerusalem and meet with the Armenian Orthodox patriarch.

He is scheduled to leave Israel around 2 p.m. that afternoon.

http://www.zenit.org/article-25271?l=english