Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Who Knows More About Jesus? Pope & Netanyahu Spar
Pope, Netanyahu Trade Words over Jesus' Native Language
Pope Francis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traded words over the language spoken by Jesus two millennia ago.
"Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew," Netanyahu told Francis in Jerusalem.
"Aramaic," the pope interjected.
"He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew," Netanyahu shot back.
Israeli linguistics professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann said, "Jesus was a native Aramaic speaker, but he would have also known Hebrew because there were extant religious writings in Hebrew."
He added that during Jesus' time, Hebrew was spoken by the lower classes - "the kind of people he ministered to."
Pope Francis' unfriendly visit -Caroline Glick
Alas, the Golden Age of Catholic-Jewish relations seems to have come to an end during Francis's visit to the Promised Land this week.
Francis's behavior during his public meeting with Netanyahu could have been brushed off as much ado about nothing if it hadn't occurred the day after his symbolic embrace of some of the worst anti-Jewish calumnies of our times, and his seeming adoption of replacement theology during his homily in Bethlehem.
[N]o one can reasonably doubt that [the security barrier] was built to protect Israelis from Palestinian terrorist murderers. And Francis ought to know this. Francis's decision to hold a photo-op at the security barrier was an act of extreme hostility against Israel and the Jewish people.
Francis "spontaneously" got out of his popemobile, walked over to a section of the barrier, and reverentially touched it and kissed it as if it were the Wailing Wall.
The graffiti on the section of the barrier Francis stopped at reinforced his anti-Semitic position. One of the slogans called for the embrace of the BDS campaign. [Another] one equated the Palestinians in Bethlehem to the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. In other words, it denied the Holocaust. By standing there, kissing the barrier with its Holocaust denying slogan, Francis gave Vatican license to Holocaust denial.
Pope Francis met with Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas at his presidential palace in Bethlehem. When Israel transferred control over Jesus's birthplace to Abbas's predecessor Yasser Arafat in 1996, Arafat seized the Greek Orthodox monastery next to the Church of the Nativity and turned it into his — and later Abbas's — official residence. Standing next to Abbas on seized church property, the pope called Abbas "a man of peace."
Abbas returned the favor by calling for Israel to release all Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons. And the pope — who interrupted Netanyahu when he told an historic truth — said nothing.
At mass at the Church of the Nativity on Sunday, Pope Francis prayed with Latin Patriarch Fuoad Twal. In his sermon Twal accused Israelis of being the present-day version of Christ killers by referring to the Palestinians as walking "in the footsteps of the Divine Child," and likening the Israelis to King Herod. In his words, "We are not yet done with the present-day Herods, who fear peace more than war… and who are prepared to continue killing."
Rather than condemn these remarks, Francis echoed them. "Who are we, as we stand before the Child Jesus? Who are we, standing as we before today's children?" the pope asked. "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?"
During his visit Monday to Jerusalem, Francis embraced the Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammed Hussein. Departing from his scripted remarks which called for the pope to refer to the mufti and his associates as "dear friends," Francis called them his "dear brothers." [But] Hussein has been condemned by the US and the EU for his calls for the annihilation of Jews in the name of Islam. In 2012, Hussein said it was the destiny of Muslims to kill Jews, who he claims are subhuman beasts and "the enemies of Allah." He has also praised suicide bombers and said their souls "tell us to follow in their path."
[D]uring his ceremonial visits to Yad Vashem, the Wailing Wall and the terror victims memorial [Pope Francis] said appropriate things. But all of his statements ring hollow and false in light of his [other] actions.
Francis is leading the Catholic Church in a distressingly anti-Jewish direction.
[Jewish World Review]
The Spat over Jesus that Wasn't - Yair Rosenberg
To judge by media reports, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a testy exchange with Pope Francis over whether or not Jesus spoke Hebrew. The Chicago Tribune soon dubbed the incident a "spat," and by the time it made its way to The Age in Australia, Netanyahu was said to have "publicly bickered" with the Pope. The Forward tweeted "#Jesusgate spat over Hebrew ends testy #PopeFrancis visit with Benjamin Netanyahu."
As the video of their discussion shows, Pope Francis is laughing throughout the entire exchange, which to a normal observer would appear to be an amiable conversation, not a "spat." As New York Times Middle East reporter Liam Stack tweeted, "not sure this counts as sparring."
Despite attempts by some media outlets to imply otherwise, the incident is not indicative of any hostility Francis harbors towards the Israeli prime minister.