During the week covered by this review, we received 11 articles on the following subjects:
Book Reviews / Pope and the Vatican
Book Reviews / Pope and the Vatican
Haaretz, July 10, 2022
Following the recent opening of the Vatican archives, acclaimed historian David Kertzer was able to examine the record of Pope Pius XII, head of the Catholic Church during WWII. His new book The Pope at War: The Secret History of Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler presents a damning picture of a man who knew about the mass destruction of Jews across Eastern Europe from various sources – such as a Catholic chaplain in Mussolini’s army, an Italian businessman and a Ukrainian Catholic archbishop. Instead of protesting the atrocities, the pope kept silent, following the advice of his trusted counselor Angelo Dell’Acqua, a staff member of the Vatican Secretariat of State. Overall, the book argues that Pius XII was motivated by a desire to preserve his church, not the lives of endangered Jews – and not even the lives of endangered Catholics in Nazi-occupied countries, notably Poland, where a large number of Catholic priests were sent to concentration camps. “I say in my book that he’s one of the central figures in understanding the war,” Kertzer explained in an interview. “[Pius XII] doesn’t really get a lot of attention… He thought that by being neutral, as he said, he could play a role in a compromise peace. He made several inquiries to both sides for some kind of compromise peace. He never got any takers.” The book mentioned another finding from the Vatican archives which reflects the fact that Catholic Church policy at the time did not favor a Jewish homeland in British Mandatory Palestine.
Colbo, July 8, 2022
The Haifa Municipality has filed a lawsuit with the Magistrates’ Court demanding the eviction of the Christian Home Institution and the Numou Organization for Child Development from their property. At the same time, the municipality filed a monetary claim against the two associations for breach of contract. The two associations, which serve the Christian Arab community in the Haifa region, retained separate legal counsel, claiming that their interests are conflicting. Lior Datz, the lawyer who represents the Numou Organization, stated that, “the municipality is finally working against the Christian Home Institution, which is acting in violation of the law… and has become rich at the expense of the Arab public… for years. The municipality saw and remained silent for political reasons… the public will finally be able to receive the subsidy it deserves and has been deprived of because of the Christian Home Institution and the municipality.”
Maariv, July 13, 2022
In light of President Biden’s visit to Israel, the author of the article expressed his opinion regarding the change of governments in the USA and its effects on Israel. “I am not saying, of course, that the Democratic Party or Biden are not fans of Israel,” he stated, “and this is also an opportunity to thank America for its moral, economic and political support for Israel… Still, on the issue of support for Israel, there are differences between the Americans of the Democratic Party and the Americans of the Republican Party. For example, the human power of some 70 million pro-Zionist Evangelical Christians in the United States is largely in the Republican Party, and their moral love for Israel is stable and deep.” Regarding the talks with Prime Minister Lapid, the article expressed that “we must remind Biden and especially Lapid that there is no such thing as ‘two states living peacefully side by side.’ The only thing that exists in geography is a Palestinian state that lies on both sides of the State of Israel and crosses it.”
Yediot Yerushalayim, July 15, 2022
The Jerusalem Municipality is threatening to take action against the Greek Church after they failed to remove a caravan that was placed on Mount Zion without a permit. According to the article, instead of removing the trailer, it was shortened, but its shorter size still required a permit.
Karov Elecha July 11, 2022
This article was written by a rabbi, who expressed his opinion that Judaism is not a missionary religion. “The word ‘Mission’ comes from foreign sources that a healthy Jewish heart shivers at their sound,” he claimed. “It is forbidden to allow any contact of this impurity with the highest holiness of the Torah of truth that we have received from the Blessed Name that has chosen us from all nations.” The Rabbi also claimed that Judaism does not seek to convert gentiles “because the Torah teaches that not all human beings belong to the 613 commandments, so there is no point in drawing them closer to it, and moreover, a gentile who observed Shabbat is liable to receive the death penalty.”
Maariv, July 12, 2022; Yated Neeman, July 13, 2022
An ancient Mikveh (ritual bath) was uncovered during an archaeological dig near the Western Wall, in Jerusalem. Archeologists Michal Hever and Dr. Oren Gutfeld of the Hebrew University began excavating the site in February 2021. It was discovered during work on the foundation for an elevator that will provide easier access from the Old City to the Western Wall. “The mikveh was quarried under the lower aqueduct and it seems that it was the main water source of the bath, a discovery previously unknown to us, and will require further research,” said Hever. It was decided to preserve the site and the remains of the residential building next to it and to integrate them into the lobby that will house the above-mentioned elevator.
Anachnu BeAmerica, July 6, 2022; Shavua Israeli July 6, 2022
The Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles, Dr. Hillel Newman, hosted a successful interfaith meeting with leaders from the local Christian community at his official residence. The meeting was attended by about 50 pastors, rabbis and members of the diplomatic staff in Los Angeles. Other speakers were Sam Grundwerg, World Chairman of Keren HaYesod, and Noa Tishby, the Foreign Ministry’s Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism and Delegitimization. The two spoke about the importance of Christian support for Israel in dealing with anti-Semitism and anti-Israel rhetoric.
Jerusalem Post, July 13, 2022
Hundreds of young Christian adults are scheduled to visit Israel this summer as part of the highly subsidized “Christian Birthright” tour. “We are thrilled to be able to resume our trips to the Holy Land,” said Scott Phillips, CEO of Passages, who organizes the tours. “Our young people – the next generation of Christian leaders – come to be inspired, to connect with the biblical roots of their faith, and to get to know the people, places, and the land of Israel… I hope the relationships that are formed in each group will lead to great programming and meaningful opportunities for our young Christian leaders when they return home. The trip is truly a life-changing experience.”
Rega, July 13, 2022
This article was written in memory of the Kielce pogrom, which took place in July 1946 in Kielce, Poland. This violent pogrom against a community of holocaust survivors happened after an eight-year-old Christian boy, Henryk Błaszczyk, falsely claimed that he had been kidnapped by certain Jews. Forty-seven Jews died in the pogrom, which affected the entire Jewish community in Europe at the time.