Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Not to Mention Egypt 

The Jerusalem Post exposes the Vatican's tortured logic, why the Pope can't freely condemn attacks on Israeli civilians:

'Not every attack could be followed by an immediate public condemnation. There are various reasons for this, among them the fact that attacks against Israel were sometimes followed by immediate Israeli reactions not always compatible with the norms of international law. It would, consequently, have been impossible to condemn the former and remain silent on the latter,' the Vatican stated.

It is hard to overstate how shocking this logic is on a number of levels. First, the Vatican is making a clear moral equation between the murder of innocent Israeli civilians and Israel's attempts to fight terrorism. Second, it asserts the right to determine the legality of Israel's actions and to assume, a priori, that Israel's reaction to a terrorist attack will itself be illegal. Third, the Holy See ignores the possibility, as in the case of the most recent attack in Netanya and many others, that Israel may not retaliate at all.
As good as the Post's response is, they still miss the obvious: the possiblity of harsh response only concerns the Pontiff when it comes from Israel. He has no problem condemning terrorism against a state like Egypt, whose heavy-handed responses to its own Brotherhood problem would probably make Hannibal Lechter wince.

Then there is Turkey a country whose uninhibited fight against its attackers, even on foreign soil, successfully stopped the PKK.

But this didn't stop the new Pope from condemning terrorist attacks against these two rogue responders alongside his criticism of England's and Iraq's attackers.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of playing scratch-and-sniff when it comes to looking for anti-semitism. I'm just sayin' is all. I'm sure the Pope's got lots more good reasons, even after we've already ruled out accidental omission, how recent or severe the attacks, or this illegal response theory.

After all, he wants to be a Pope with good relations with the Jews. There must be an answer. Any ideas?
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