That darkness has less to do with the region itself than with a swelling international hate-fest against Israel that is now growing into a frightening resurgence of anti-Semitism in many European countries. Everything the pope says and does throughout his visit will be watched and weighed against an array of what will often be incoherent and disturbing attitudes and policies, not least the global Islamist and left-wing call for Israel to be destroyed and, in more extreme versions, for the Jews there to be killed.
The pope will go there as a man of peace, and will take every opportunity to advocate peace in the region. But peace may not be the most important thing for him to urge. Nor will any exhortations he may make be enough to make the peace process go forward anyway. The 1988 Hamas Charter declares: "Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement... There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors" (Article 13).
How do you, even if you are the pope, talk peace to men like that, or to mothers who dress their sons in suicide belts?
Saturday, May 2, 2009
"How do you, even if you are the pope, talk peace to men like that, or to mothers who dress their sons in suicide belts?"
Denis Maceoin says that Benedict could not travel to Jerusalem at a more difficult time. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has entered a very dark phase since Israel's defensive assault on Gaza at the end of last year":
Hamas terrorists teach the art of suicide bombing to a 5-year-old. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah are veterans of using children as human shields, human bombs and for propaganda posters to incite further terrorism.