Opportunity is knocking on Israel’s door

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Like nature, Israel's strategic relations abhor a vacuum. In the wake of the Obama administration's decision to drastically curtail the US's strategic alliance with Israel in the interest of American rapprochement with Iran and Syria, the Netanyahu government has been moving swiftly to fill the void.

On Monday, with Pope Benedict XVI's arrival and with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's visit with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at Sharm e-Sheikh, two potential strategic alliances came into view.

Building effective alliances with the Vatican and Egypt is a delicate process. Each side wants more from the other than the other can reasonably provide. But each side also has much to gain even if it doesn't achieve everything it wants. The art of alliance building is making the new ally both happy with what it gets and comfortable with not getting everything it wants. This is the task that presents itself today, as Netanyahu and his colleagues engage with both the pope and with Mubarak.

The strategic goal that Israel wishes to advance through an alliance with the Vatican is the strengthening of its international position as the sole sovereign in Jerusalem. The strategic goal it wishes to advance with Egypt is the prevention of Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons.

UNDER POPE BENEDICT XVI, the possibility of winning the support of the Catholic Church for Israel's position that Jerusalem will never again be partitioned and will remain under perpetual Israeli sovereignty is greater than it was under his predecessors. Unlike his predecessors, Benedict has been outspoken in his concern for the plight of Christian minorities in Islamic countries. During his visit to Amman he made a point of speaking out for the protection of Iraqi Christians who are under attack from all quarters. Since he replaced Pope John Paul II, Benedict has made repeated calls for religious tolerance and freedom in Islamic countries – most notably in his 2006 speech at Regensberg where he quoted a Byzantine emperor from the Middle Ages criticizing Islam for seeking to spread its message by the sword.

After his words sparked murderous violence throughout the Islamic world, Benedict expressed his regret for the hurt his statement caused. But he never retracted it. Moreover, during his visit to the King Hussein Mosque in Amman on Saturday, Benedict indirectly reasserted his 2006 message. When he said, "It is the ideological manipulation of religion, sometimes for political ends, that is the real catalyst for tension and division, and at times even violence in society," Benedict was reinforcing – if cryptically – his basic criticism of Islam.

The pope's obvious recognition of the danger jihadist Islam constitutes for Christians puts the Vatican, under his leadership, in a position where it could be more interested than it was in the past in working with Israel to secure the Christian holy sites in Jerusalem by supporting Israeli control of the city.

The pope made this possibility even more apparent in his homily at Mount Nevo. Standing on the mountain where Moses gazed at the Land of Israel, Benedict spoke of "the inseparable bond between the Church and the Jewish people." As he put it, "From the beginning, the Church in these lands has commemorated in her liturgy the great figures of the patriarchs and prophets, as a sign of her profound appreciation of the unity of the two Testaments. May our encounter today inspire in us a renewed love for the canon of sacred Scripture and a desire to overcome all obstacles to the reconciliation of Christians and Jews in mutual respect and cooperation in the service of that peace to which the word of God calls us!"

In saying this, the pope made clear that he views the preservation of Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem as essential for Christian heritage. The Islamic Wakf, which would control the city's holy sites in the event of its partition, has already gone to great lengths to systematically destroy the ruins of the Temple Mount and the Jewish and Christian heritage of the holy basin through archeological theft, illegal building and digging.

ISRAEL'S ABILITY to embrace the Vatican as an ally and so advance an alliance with the Church regarding Jerusalem is constrained from its perspective by the legacy of the Church's behavior during the Holocaust. Politically, this constraint is manifested in the Vatican's stated desire to canonize Pope Pius XII.

Quite simply, no government in Jerusalem has the moral right to ignore weighty allegations that Pope Pius XII collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust. It is because of this moral imperative to remain vigilant in seeking justice for our murdered brethren that successive governments have strained relations with the Vatican by objecting to Pius XII's canonization.

What the government can do is encourage Holocaust historians and Yad Vashem to engage their Catholic counterparts in a joint study – through conferences and research – of the allegations against Pius XII. Such discussions have taken place between Vatican scholars and Yad Vashem over the years, most recently in March. Israel should offer to institutionalize them.

Specifically worthy of a joint study are the revelations made in January 2007 by Lt.-Gen. Ion Pacepa, the former head of the Romanian KGB, that the allegations against Pius XII were the brainchild of the KGB. In an article published in National Review, Pacepa, who when he defected to the US in 1978 became the highest ranking Soviet-bloc defector, claimed that in the late 1950s the KGB began perceiving the Catholic Church as the primary threat to its control over Eastern Bloc countries. Consequently, in 1960 the KGB decided to wage a campaign to destroy its moral authority. Since Pius had died two years earlier, the decision was made to castigate him as a Nazi collaborator. Already dead, he was in no position to defend himself.

Pacepa alleged that the 1964 play The Deputy, which opened the floodgates of criticism against Pius, was written by the KGB and that its presumed author, Rolf Hochhuth, was a communist fellow traveler. He claimed that the basis for the play was documents that Romanian KGB agents disguised as Catholic priests had purloined from the Vatican archives. Those documents, he alleged, were then doctored at KGB headquarters in Moscow.

Former CIA director James Woolsey has vouched for Pacepa's personal credibility. Pacepa's memoir Red Horizons formed the basis for the indictment and conviction of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was executed in 1989.

At the same time, it is impossible to fully accept Pacepa's assertions in light of the Vatican's refusal to open its wartime archives.

If Israeli scholars are willing to engage Catholic counterparts in an open exchange of information on Pius XII's wartime record that allows for new verifiable information to be fairly assessed, whatever the eventual results of the research, Israel would be able to clear some of the acrid air that makes it difficult to gain Vatican cooperation on pressing concerns like strengthening its diplomatic standing on the issue of Jerusalem. And again, this is in the Church's own strategic interest since it wishes to preserve and ensure free access to Christian and Jewish holy sites there.

THEN THERE IS EGYPT. In his videotaped address to the AIPAC conference last week Netanyahu made the case for a strategic alliance with Egypt when he said, "For the first time in my lifetime… Arabs and Jews see a common danger… There is a great challenge afoot. But that challenge also presents great opportunities. The common danger is echoed by Arab leaders throughout the Middle East; it is echoed by Israel repeatedly… And if I had to sum it up in one sentence, it is this: Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons."

Since the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2006, Egypt has demonstrated repeatedly that it supports Israel
in its fight against Iran and its proxies. Both Egypt and Saudi Arabia supported Israel in the war against Iran's Hizbullah proxy in Lebanon in 2006. They supported it in its war against Iran's Hamas proxy in Gaza in Operation Cast Lead this past December and January.

Egypt helped Israel by keeping its border with Gaza closed and by allowing the IAF to overfly Egyptian airspace en route to attacking Iranian weapons convoys in Sudan destined for Gaza. Moreover, with Egypt's rejection last week of the Obama administration's attempt to link action against Iran's nuclear weapons installations to Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, Mubarak and his associates in Cairo have made clear that they will support Israeli military action against Iran's nuclear installations.

On the other hand, as the self-proclaimed leader of the Arab world, Egypt is a main sponsor of the Palestinian war against Israel and a leader in the campaign to delegitimize Israel internationally. The Mubarak regime may risk its own domestic stability it if is perceived as supporting Israel since the overwhelming majority of Egyptians are hateful toward Israel and Jews. Furthermore, today Egypt has Jordan to consider.

The Obama administration has clearly enlisted King Abdullah II to act as its proxy in the Arab world for coercing Egypt and the Gulf states to deny support for Israel on Iran for as long as it maintains its refusal to give more of its land to the Palestinians. Given Jordan's new role, Egypt and the Gulf states have been put in an even more awkward situation vis-à-vis Israel and Iran.

To contend with this situation, the Netanyahu government would do well to hew very closely to the line that Netanyahu set out in his address to AIPAC. There he made clear that there will be no chance of peace with the Palestinians as long as Iran and its proxies remain ascendant.

Netanyahu would also do well to recall that the reason that Egypt and Saudi Arabia ended up accepting Hizbullah control over Lebanon and Hamas control over Gaza is because under the Olmert government, Israel failed to defeat them. Had Israel routed Hizbullah in 2006 and Hamas this past December and January, Egypt may have adopted a different position relating to the Palestinians.

So too, like Israel, today Egypt views preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and weakening its Hizbullah and Hamas proxies as a paramount national interest. If, with Egyptian assistance Israel is able to successfully prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the regional dynamic relating to the Palestinians – who support Iran – as well as the political standing of the Obama administration – which is enabling Iran to acquire nuclear weapons – may change. So Israel's best practice regarding Egypt is to buy time on the Palestinian issue while successfully preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Building alliances is difficult business. And recognizing their limitations as well as their potential requires courage and patience. But today the opportunity to build new relationships is clear. Israel's great challenge going forward then is to seize the moment.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

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16 Comments

  • yukio ngaby 05/12/2009 at 12:15

    A very persuasive essay. With the US marginalizing itself (at best) and hoping that fairies and unicorns will make the Iranian government. stop being so mean, Israel would do well to seek other allies.
    The possible alliance with the Vatican is an intriguing possibilty. It would do well to counter the UN’s portrayal of Israel as a racist and illeagal state and probably force the hand of many governments sitting on the fence in Europe and elsewhere.
    I cannot imagine Israel and Egypt forming any solid or lasting alliance (although it would be really nice if it happened)– but maybe one of short-term convenience until the US wises up and stops being played by Iran and the Obama administration’s hostility and naivety.

    Reply
  • Marcel Cousineau 05/12/2009 at 14:10

    Opportunity or Desperation ?
    Church’s behavior during the Holocaust ?
    You only went back to the Holocaust ?
    You should have refreshed your alliance laden memory at least going back to Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition.
    Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
    Jeremiah 13:23
    Desperate people do desperate things.
    If only the Pope had an Army who would lay down their lives for Israel.
    I know Rome much better than you and can say unequivocally that this is another dead end fantasy.They will galdly betray Israel’s naive Jews to save themsleves from the Islamic hordes. In fact they already are doing this ,with the best acting east of Hollywood.
    How easily Israel is seduced because she does not heed the WARNING WOE from the Holy One of Israel.
    Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!
    Isaiah 31:1

    Reply
  • Ron Grandinetti, USA 05/12/2009 at 14:52

    Caroline another fine article and your analysis are always refreshing.
    First of all as a practicing Catholic I share the same sentiments.
    We don’t always have to agree with the Pope. His infallibility is a very narrow window and is with respects to faith and morals only.
    We do need to mend fences and it would begin with recognizing the Jewish sovereignty of all Israel including of course Jerusalem and all the holy sites.
    In addition the Vatican should engage their Jewish counterparts with open and frank discussions regarding Pope Pius XII. There should be nothing to hide.
    The Vatican should also return any items that belong to the Jewish people stored in the Vatican.
    By holding on to these doesn’t make us better Catholics; we’ll be better Catholics by returning any and all to rightful owners.
    PM Netanyahu has to make it quite clear to Obama that Israel will not be forced into anything that is not in the best interest of Israel and her people.
    Any and all negotiations between any Arab nations with Israel must begin with the recognition of Israel as a sovereign Jewish Nation.
    That’s were it all begins, square one.

    Reply
  • Baruch 05/12/2009 at 17:03

    I apologize for seemingly writing comments to each one of your articles, however, I view the era in which we live as a watershed moment in history as I am sure you do. The topics you are now touching upon should be taken with a great degree of humility because so much change is coming. I’m not sure if this is what Barack Obama had in mind insofar as change is concerned, but what the heck.
    I was among the first settlers in ‘Yehuda v Shomron’ back in the late ’70’s early Eighties. Back then I was young and very impressionable. I studied and I worked and above all I was a builder of a community, a new kind of Israeli community built upon the values of individual rights and freedom of movement that were diametrically opposed to what the kibbutz movement stood for, which was a lifetime of service in one community. In short, we believed that Israel’s greatest export was not oranges, but intelligence. We believed that building oneself up from within was the most important work in life. The physical act of building the land is not something seen as important in terms of who actually builds the house one is in, and whether rightly or wrongly, the view of Arabs is understandable, which is that they have a kind of sadistic love affair with Israel. It isn’t so much an issue over land which drives their emotions, but it is the behavior of the Jews which inflames them.
    There has been a radical shift in the mindset of the Jewish community in the past thirty years (=one generation). The focus is on individuality and character. Yes, these issues are inflammatory to almost everyone in the world, because these are not seen by others as being relevant in their lives as much as perhaps the Jewish community does. You can see it in the way the world considers Israel to be in one way or another some kind of brutal occupier, and now that the United States is joining in on the chorus, it’s all but unanimous. Nothing really has changed since a generation ago except that the people would rather not deal with the very in-your-face ideals that the founders of the settlements believed in and still believe today. To be an honest individual requires strength and courage, and there isn’t a whole lot of that in circulation in the world today. I have to admit that I rejected it all at first. It was a very tough sell for me to take responsibility for my own life and know who I was, but this was the cause that now permeates the entire mindset of the Jewish community.
    Personally, I think Israel has a moral responsibility to distance itself from those whose thinking is diametrically opposed to values that Israel stands for. And this does not mean that in pop-culture speak this has something to do with gays and women’s rights either. It doesn’t have to do with religion or land or oil or terrorism. The war that is being waged now is a war of ideas about how people should lead their lives. Apparently the settlements and the settlers themselves have rubbed people the wrong way, and sometimes when huge explosive ideas are dropped into a smoldering cinder box of self-delusion the explosion can be a very big wake up call.
    The bottom line is that the time could never be better for Israel to come out of the shadow of the U.S. and be proud of itself for standing up to ideas that are put forth by lazy-minded, irresponsible people. The very notion that the U.S. can borrow more and more money ad infinitum is preposterous, and yet that wake up call has already been ordered when taxes and the interest on the debt both go up exponentially. The shifting around of the deck chairs of the U.S. military’s titanic operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are troubling. The future does not look good, but there really is no other option other than to be strong and be honest about who we are and what we stand for.
    Today it’s all about personality and sophistication and eloquence rather than substance and character and ideals. The election of Barack Obama is but a metaphor for the way in which a cancer has infected the world to turn people away from what is important. To me now the work of building idealistic communities in biblically significant areas of Israel was not the culmination of a dream but rather the beginning of a long life’s journey into vast areas of darkness the likes of which I could not have even pondered back then would occur.
    Yet, the epic struggle that Jews now find themselves is a choice between whether to continue to struggle for the ideals that they believe in or turn away and shelve them for another day.
    Tomorrow really never does come. It’s all about right now, and the overarching relevance of the discussion about

    Reply
  • lawrence kohn 05/13/2009 at 4:11

    Alliance with India is a good idea though Israel has to watch out for Russian-Indian involvement and steer clear of the Bear. Glick’s statement on Pius was I think the first time I think she has made a huge error in judgment. The question was not the Pope’s collaboration with the Nazis but the failure to act when the Rome Jewish community was deported under his nose and to ask the Catholic Croats and Poles to refrain from supporting Nazi murders or be excommunicated. The Pope did join in asking Horthy in Hungary to prevent deportations in July 44 but his attitude towards Jews was very negative and the deep anti-semitism of much of the Church back then certainly disqualifies him for sainthood. Pacepa is very good re: the KGB often but not always; he believes the false defector, Nosenko, was genuine despite the evidence from Golitsyn, Terrence Bagley and Peter Deriabin. Regardless quid pro quo on Pius may not happen; should the PM forego an agreement on keeping Jerusalem united nevertheless? Cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

    Reply
  • Marcel Cousineau 05/13/2009 at 15:49

    ‘So, if that’s so, why are so many of us appalled, embarrassed and worse at the enthusiastic welcome the State of Israel and its media have granted the goyishe religious leader?’
    Batya/Shiloh
    I think I have the answer,Batya.
    For decades now Jew’s have fallen over themselves welcoming the big empire’s peace hustlers as they came to visit Israel with their plan to carve up God’s land to His enemies.
    How Israel fawned over Bill ‘the pervert’ Clinton and his adoring smile ,and how Israel was enraptured by the missionary Bush and his religion of dividing their eternal homeland for his big lie of peace. You bought in so easily without a fight,no resistance,just blind obedience to your many false messiah’s.
    Israel showed great honor and respect to these devil’s,thieve’s, liar’s and deceivers as they pimped their fraudelent peace.
    I think Israel was seduced by power and went down to Egypt(Wahington) with abandon.
    Finally you’ve awaken to the fruit’s of your foolish deeds.
    Maybe now,the Jewish people have wised up a little and desire to clean the filth of their fornication with these powerful ‘peace’ husltlers who EASILY steal their land for only lies in return ,maybe the long awaited Awakening has begun as naive Jews no longer fall for the same scam even from an ex-nazi all dressed in white robes.
    Congratulations Israel, it took long enough to awaken from your religious devition to the 2 state final solution.

    Reply
  • Anna 05/13/2009 at 19:00

    Very interesting article and very intersting comments.
    I’m wondering even if, all things being equal, how an alliance with the Church/Pope would do much good. As I believe one poster upthread commented, it’s not as if the Catholic Church has an army to offer.
    Please, everyone, bombard the mainstream media in the U.S. every day with your voices. I think links probably cannot be embedded in comments here since I never see them, but there are many sites that faciliate having letters sent, that help writers target various papers, various locations, etc. And, please also, for those here who live in the U.S., bombard your elected officials with letters, calls, faxes. We cannot allow our voices to remain muted, or to rely on the Caroline Glicks of the world to speak for us (though thank God she does speak as her voice is so very articulate). We must all speak out!

    Reply
  • Hadassah Linfield 05/13/2009 at 21:42

    It would take more knowledge than I possess to determine whether the alliances recommended by Caroline Glick would be advantageous. However, given Israel’s diplomatic history, alliances have resulted in advancing her ‘partners’ agendas and those of her politicians, at the expense of her nation’s future.
    The days when Israel can sacrifice its history, its land, and its security to gain favor from its ‘friends’ or one sided ‘alliances’ from its enemies, are over.
    It is time for Israel to face the fact that it stands alone in a hostile world. Her future rests upon what she decides to do. If there are nations who need her ‘cover’ to gain from Israeli policy, let them make the sacrifices to win Israel as an ally.
    The world respects only those who stand up for themselves, and looks with distain on those who subordinate themselves.

    Reply
  • Kenneth Mathews 05/13/2009 at 22:49

    Neither the Vatican nor Egypt can be trusted as allies. I think it was Stalin who once asked “how many divisions has the Pope,” and Egypt – will it be able to transition from Mubarak to another “moderate” leader successfully with Muslim Brotherhood, Hizballah, HAMAS and others waiting for any sign of weakness. Israel must develop its strategy based on being willing and able to stand alone. Israel continually under estimates its growing military, economic, and technological potential and its quietly growing ideological and spiritual strength of purpose. The US is declining rapidly in all these same areas. May God bless Israel!

    Reply
  • Timothy Kriete For ISRAEL FOREVER MORE AMEN 05/14/2009 at 10:02

    Dear Caroline; STAY STRONG BABY GIRL AND PLEASE
    CONTINUE TO SOUND THE SHOFAR FOR ZION’S SAKE AND
    FOR JERUSALEM,ISRAEL’S SAKE NEVER EVER BE SILENT
    AS IT IS WRITTEN IN, GENESIS 12-15, ISAIAH 53-
    63, EZEKIEL 36-39 AMEN! ISAIAH 66 CLEARLY TELLS
    ME THAT THE FIG TREE (ISRAEL) WAS THE ONLY
    NATION BORN OR REBORN IN 1 DAY, NO OTHER NATION
    OR PEOPLE CAN TRUTHFULLY CLAIM THIS TORAH TRUTH!
    The Battle Is The LORD’S AND HE ALWAYS DEFEATS
    THE ENEMIES OF HIS ETERNAL COVENANT PEOPLE FOR
    HIS GLORIOUS AGAPE’ LOVING NAMES’ SAKE AMEN. My
    Precious Sister Your Articles Are ON TARGET AND
    I AGREE FOR THE MOST PART BUT I HAVE TO AGREE
    WITH MARCEL COUSINEAU IN REFERENCE TO THE FAKE
    ALLIANCES THAT HAVE ALWAYS BETRAYED ISRAEL AND
    DIVIDED HASHEM’S LAND HE GAVE TO ISRAEL LONG
    AGO IN AN ETERNAL COVENANT OF SALT! THE ONLY
    SALT COVENANT THE LORD EVER MADE WITH ANY NATION
    AMEN??? SOME REFER TO THE NAZI DRESSED IN WHITE
    AS THE “POPE” BUT I SIMPLY CALL HIM “PONTIFF”
    RATSINGER, I NEVER WANT TO FORGET WHERE HE CAME
    FROM, NOR WHERE HIS EVIL VILE ANTI-ISRAELI HEART
    TRULY IS WITH SATAN AND THE ISLAMIC FOOLS AMEN!
    I Truly Believe You Can Forgive Those Whom
    CHOOSE FOOLISHLY TO BE YOUR ENEMIES BUT YOU MUST
    NEVER EVER FORGET THE PAST LEAST YOU THEN CAN BE
    DOOMED TO REPEAT IT AMEN??? The Islamic FOOLS
    World Wide Share MANY THINGS IN COMMON WITH THE
    NAZIS MY PRECIOUS SISTER CAROLINE, THEY SHARE A
    SUPERNATURAL OR SPIRITUAL HATRED FOR ISRAEL AND
    THE JEWISH PEOPLE! TO ME THIS IS SAD, AND VERY
    PATHETIC AT BEST. I Pray For ALL Those In The
    Positions Of Authority World Wide, Positions Of
    Influence Over People, Over Nations Because I
    TRULY AND FAITHFULLY BELIEVE THE LORD GOD OF
    JACOB HOLDS THEIR HEARTS IN HIS MIGHTY RIGHT
    HAND AMEN. I Keep Repeating This TORAH/BIBLE
    TRUTH BECAUSE I HAVE SEEN THE FRUITS FIRST-HAND
    OF THE ETERNAL TRUTH IN GENESIS 12:1-3 A NO-
    BRAINER SIS, TRULY A NO-BRAINER! HOW SIMPLE CAN
    THE TRUTH BE FOR ANYONE WITH HALF OF A BRAIN???
    STAY STRONG BABY GIRL AND KEEP BIBI LIFTED UP IN
    OUR DAILY PRAYERS THAT HE SHALL SURELY STAND ON
    THE TORAH/BIBLICAL TRUTHS AS HE FACES THE SWORN
    ENEMIES OF ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE THAT I
    ALSO PRAY HE WILL NOT COMPROMISE ANYTHING FOR
    THE SAKE OF ISRAEL, THAT BIBI SHALL NOT ALLOW
    ANY OF HASHEM’S LAND TO BE CARVED UP BY THE
    OVERT AND COVERT ENEMIES OF ISRAEL AMEN!!! A
    ETERNAL CURSE ON ALL WHOM COME AGAINST ISRAEL
    AS IT IS WRITTEN IN GENESIS 12:1-3 AMEN!!! THE
    WORD OF THE LORD OUR GOD OF JACOB, THE LORD OF
    ALL FLESH, IS FOREVER MORE A LIGHT TO OUR FEET
    AND A LAMP UNTO OUR PATH, A CLOUD BY DAY, A FIRE
    BY NIGHT TO GUIDE US ALL OUT OF THE DESERT INTO
    THE PROMISED LAND FOREVER MORE ON EARTH AS IT IS
    IN HEAVEN PSALM 119:105, I LOVE YOU ALL AND YOU
    CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT-QUOTE FROM PASTOR
    JOY L. THORNTON AMEN. Thy Eternal Servant And
    Brother FOR ZION’S SAKE AMEN Timothy Kriete 🙂

    Reply
  • Timothy Kriete For ISRAEL FOREVER MORE AMEN 05/14/2009 at 10:04

    CAROLINE GLICK I THANK THE LORD OUR GOD OF JACOB
    FOR YOU AND WHAT YOU DO FOR ISRAEL’S SAKE ON A
    DAILY BASIS, STAY STRONG BABY GIRL AMEN :):):)

    Reply
  • David Custis Kimball 05/14/2009 at 17:20

    I recently found from my dad’s papers and collections of war letters, an article, published by the Vineyard Gazette, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., not dated, but in late spring or early summer, 1945.
    His perspective is that of a medical doctor, serving as a Major in the Army, studying disease and non-combatant death. He had traveled from Africa to Italy into France and now Germany, doing research on diseases in order to get a handle on what was coming home after WWII. Perhaps the lessons of WWI and the pandemic of 1918 now in the news and having killed 50 million people validated his and his company’s efforts to find a home where life was still possible.
    Judging from the news after WWII, and in large part due to the antibiotics discovered and used during and after the war to fight disease, the end of the war led to a successful return … except for Korea.
    Here it is:
    ‘I visited one of the concentration camps, Dachau, mentioned in the news lately as having been inspected by delegations from several countries including our own Congress. All the reports that you have heard have not been exaggerated – in fact, I think that they have been understated. There were hundreds of emaciated bodies and thousands just alive. The living were worse than the dead in many ways. Infestation and disease was rampant in these pitifully starved beings. It is unbelievable that such deliberate, clever, methodically thorough, neatly organized cruelty could be possible in a flourishing, richly cultivated, modern country like Germany in 1945. I never would have believed it if I hadn’t seen it.
    The sharp contrast to the luxurious way in which the attendants lived with their hardwood furniture, paneled, tapestried walls, and the thick layers of fat over their bellies was even more shocking – shocking also in contrast to the well fed, well dressed, stockinged people in the street. I think anyone in government should see these things, regarding them academically, not vengefully, as the cruelest atrocity associated with modern total war. It is further evidence that war has become too rough to handle and we must develop powers of observation and anticipation to prevent repetition.’ by Major Ernest Robbins Kimball, Jr., MD
    In another letter, written to his parents, and published by the Vineyard Gazette was earlier when he was in Alsace, France where he was hopeful about the peace he felt was near. … ‘Any flicker of light thrown ahead into the darkness of all tasks is precious to me for the sake of my child and my child’s child.’
    Major Kimball had never held his daughter, born in 1943; she had survived a hurricane in Florida with a broken arm, and the uncertainty of not knowing a dad, and her mom not knowing if a husband would return.
    Back to Egypt and Syria: looking into the abyss of the mindset that would deny this evil and finding common ground is the work of champions. Feeding this mindset under the guise that it is a humanitarian thing to do is so dangerous, as adding fuel to a fire where it is burning under your home. The USA has spent foolish millions if not billions on Egypt thanks to Jimmy Carter and those who see money as an answer, but now there are just more well fed haters who can only beg for more with ever more reason to hate.
    Compare the situation here in the US, where more was allowed to be borrowed against a home(or any other asset) than it is now worth. Many homes are threatened (including my parents’ home). Is not that what in many places in the Mideast exists now and even then, after WWII, when Israel given back to its rightful owners. Ruled by Great Britain, the Mideast was a shambles, and until oil was brought up, there was nothing of value there.
    So just as in most free countries, if you do not manage your real estate well, you will lose it. That we seem to allow or fund or support Arab countries who imprison persons who sell their land freely to a Jewish person because this is their law. It is a law against humanity and should be rejected with laws set up within the framework of ‘powers of observation and anticipation to prevent repetition’.
    It is equally against humanity to evict a homeowner from his property if he is obeying all laws and benefits the community and his family by being there, so shame on Israel for abusing her own people, and for whom, a Gazan Hamas who has been shown to use children as shields, schools and homes to store weapons as well as mosques.
    The premise of charity has to be based on the faith that the money will do good, but our image of good is warped into that model that allows hatred to flourish and funds those who hate Jews and who would create an even worse Aparteid system than existed and in some respects still exists in Europe, i.e. Jews are to be merchants and lenders only. It is plausible that the strength of Israel defeats that notion of Christian stupidity, and Muslim advantage to ally itself with those who would ‘tolerate’ Jews, if they only knew their place. Many in the American Christian community, including catholics and protestants, still hold this view. I must confess, that I was tempted to accept this view for a short while when our Jewish pediatrician sent my son into the NICU (neonatal Intensive Care Unit) when he was evaluated nearly perfect when born and all signs were improving (but we had insurance), and against the recommendation of my retired dad, who was 300 miles away. The point being, he after hearing my arguments said,”But I never made any money on your daughter, she was so healthy…” he stopped. I said, “What are you telling me?” He hung up. Only a doctor can take someone admitted out of an NICU. My son did survive the gentamycin sulfate overdoses (to protect him from the diseases from the NICU and the molds coming from the gypsum surrounding the moist dew point tempered AC coming from the vents) and the seizure induced by the bacterial infested ‘free’ formula provided. This is American Medicine, under a for-profit subcontractor to a little hospital in Florida. I really expected better from that pediatrician, but really got no worse than from anyone else in the system. I did win my lawsuit, having refused to pay for all services…. Florida repealed a law that SANCTIONED over 40,000 bacteria per mililiter in infant formula, including e-coli on July 1, 1994. Thank you governor, Lawton Chiles. My son was born in 1993.
    But here is the point, somewhat disputable: my jewish pediatrician had deep seated cultural and perhaps ‘phenomes’ that made him consider the profit to himself as equally important or even more important than the medical situation. No direct liability existed in his referral, and he must have received a goodly sum for the nod. But this is a conjecture that can be captured by Jew-hating people who would use this to argue for the continued subjegation of Jews, not an individual who made a self-serving decision, like so many doctors in this country.
    So back to the story: Are we just paying what the ‘poor downtrodden Palestinians demand? As always the victim… awwwwhhhhh, we must help them, right?
    Why else would Obama approve large sums of money to a terror supporting group who have ambitions to subdue Jews into compliance within the inferior position of merchant class, as Europe has done for centuries. It is not hard to ‘anticipate’ where the $900 million that the US has pledged to Gaza will be spent and the idiot media which will advantage themselves to Islam’s photo ops. Are our powers of ‘observation’ so clouded by publicity and the ignorant or evil or both media and others who would continue to kill and starve and abuse Jews and other protesters just as in Dachau? When the money from Uncle Sam runs out …. or like Germany, a wheelbarrow full will by a loaf of bread, what then?
    I hope that with your help, Caroline, and the wisdom of B. Netanyahu you can ‘academically’ solve these issues, even if that requires a dramatic lesson in civics and ethics, not a threat but a exercise in life that such cruelty will not be tolerated. There is a discipline necessary to maintain an academic authority, credibility and humanity. That is this: All Arab governments who seek aid, must recognize and accept Israel individuals and country as sovereign within their territory. Laws that impugn that indirectly, like selling land to a Jew, are to be repealed, so it is DEEDS NOT WORDS.
    I really hope the pope can listen to his heart, and in case he wants to make the case that all popes are infallible, have him consider Alexander IV and Adrian IV. If infallibility is only used in the context as the Greeks were infallible, as in ‘you-do-what-I-tell-you, kapish?’, then the alliance with the Vatican is really strategically not important. However, if you look at the scripture that validates ‘infallibility’, it is more of a responsibility of power, than a carte blanche. If the pope messes things up, like Alexander VI and Adrian IV, then there are big consequences …. reverbs into heaven, if you will. And dark and evil forces are that much more dangerous, as they have a entrance into your ‘infallibility’.
    As a catholic, I would hope that Benedict XVI, might be able to address this to Israel, at least privately … perhaps a confession, and present it so it can no longer empower enemies of civilization itself. Thousands at the time and perhaps even millions since have been adversely affected by the actions of Alex VI and Adrian IV.
    The latter caused the Irish-Brtiish hatred, and Alex VI, caused the split with Rome by Luther, Henry VIII, Templars, and probably contributed to the terror of the Inquistion, and arrogance of the conquest of the Americas. It’s not really ‘water-over-the-dam’ yet, people.

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  • Gab 05/15/2009 at 13:26

    I am an atheist who sees the Pope as the moral authority for one billion people. When he went to Jordan and said that he has the highest respect for Islam, it was not honest. The Pope’s teachings and Islamic Law are in major conflict. Where does all this respect come from? The one thing that they do share is that if you do not believe as them, you are not getting into heaven. If you buy this, then Jews are not getting in. This causes subconscious disrespect.

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  • william 05/15/2009 at 14:08

    Pope Pius 12 saved 1000 of Jewish lives–this was well known and accepted by Jews and everyone else until the play the Deputy started an assault on the pope as a left wing assault on religion

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  • Ted Moran 05/15/2009 at 14:32

    I must agree with Marcel, although I would have taken the antisemitism of the church back to the Council of Nicea. It was when the church changed the time of Passover never to coincide with the Passover proscribed by God to Moses. The fact is there is no chance, not a little chance, that Israel can trust Rome.
    An alliance with Egypt? Hasn’t Israel tried that before? Where did that ultimately take Israel? It took her to Babylon!
    Israel has only one true and everlasting ally, and you know who HE is. It is time Israel stop fantasizing about living in peace in a world that hates her and put her trust in the LORD. Israel does not have a right to exist, if she asks other nations for permission to exist. The exercise of rights needs no permission. If is Israel has a right to exist it is solely because the LORD has given you that right and not the United Nations.

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  • Phil S 05/15/2009 at 18:44

    I guess I don’t see the great opportunities here that Caroline does. Egypt is at best a neutral party and the Vatican is hardly a strategic ally for Israel. There might be cases of common interest for Israel with Egypt and the Vatican and they should be exploited where it makes sense but it seems that they would be quite limited.

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