Monday, June 2, 2014

The Pope's Disturbing Symbolism Reminded Me Of The President's Disturbing Rhetoric

Naomi Ragen
Israeli-American author, blogger, women rights advocate, and passionate patriot for the state of Israel, Naomi Ragen, wrote in her latest newsletter about the Pope's visit to Israel and the Middle East.  After reading her newsletter and the link to the Caroline Glick article, "Pope Francis' Unfriendly Visit to Israel", I was disturbed about some symbolism that the Pope displayed when he visited the security wall in Bethlehem.

Quoting Naomi Ragen [I put in the highlighted words for emphasis] : "I was ready to welcome him. After all, it's my city, and I am happy to have visitors, even CEO's, as long as they behave themselves.  Unfortunately, Pope Francis didn't." 

Pope Francis
"He got out of his car and sought out a photo op at the security wall in Bethlehem covered in graffiti that compared Bethlehem to the Warsaw Ghetto no less.  Right, how many Palestinians died of starvation today and yesterday?  No one.  And how many Jews were the Palestinians able to kill today and yesterday?  Also, no one. Such baloney!" 

"And on top of that, HE KISSED IT, LIKE IT WAS THE WESTERN WALL!  And then, to welcome Mahmoud Abbas,  Yasir Arafat's right hand man, who helped to decimate the Christian community in Bethlehem, whose friends occupied and desecrated that same church only a few years ago, who put PLO gunmen in Bethlehem's Christian houses to kill Israelis in their cars, and to draw Israeli fire.  If the Pope is Abbas' friend, then he isn't ours."

The line that really caught my eye from Naomi's newsletter was the Pope's photo op kissing the Bethlehem security wall - where Palestinians' graffiti compares the Palestinians of Bethlehem [treatment] to the Warsaw Ghetto [the place where Jews were held by the Nazi's until most were sent to their deaths in extermination camps].  

This symbolism was like a blow to the stomach and it brought immediate flash backs in my mind of another leader, who not by symbolism but by actual rhetoric made such a deplorable comparison.  This moment happened in the first year of President Obama's first term in June of 2009, with the president's ill fated "Muslim outreach" tour, that culminated with his speech in Cairo, Egypt.

In this speech, in which I call the "on the other hand" speech, President Obama makes a disgusting moral equivalency of Jews who suffered [and died] in the Holocaust to Palestinians who suffer, yearning for a homeland.

From the strident conservative web site, here are two of the paragraphs that president Obama spoke to the Muslim world in person, and the whole world on TV.

Note: sitting in the first rows at the president's speech were members of the Muslim Brotherhood that president Obama asked be allowed to be at the speech, despite their being deemed at the time an outlaw group by the Hosni Mubarak led Egyptian government.

President Obama [in his own words without edit]:
“Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed — more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction — or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews — is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.”

"On the other hand"
On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people — Muslims and Christians — have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations — large and small — that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.”

Oh, yeah, the violence and inhumanity of bondage that blacks had to endure during slavery was horrific, on the other hand ...

What is almost as disgusting to what the president said was the deafening silence of outrage that came from Jewish organizations.  There should have been calls for the president to apologize for his outrageous statement of moral equivalency.  Instead, I actually remember the president being praised for "courage to dare tell the Muslim world that the Holocaust was real."  Sheesh - "oh, thank you dear Barack for admitting Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust."  Next you will have the courage to tell us that Americans really did land on the moon.  Wow, what a great man.   I wanted to throw up.

If Barack Obama's sitting in the church for 20 years of a pastor [a pastor who had baptized his children and married him and Michelle and a pastor who he called his great friend and mentor] who made virulently anti-Semitic and anti-white and anti-American statements hadn't swayed liberal Jews from total support for him, then why should I be surprised that Obama equating Holocaust victims to Palestinians treatment from Jews in Israel had no effect on their total support for him.

Yes, the Pope's symbolism in his kissing the anti-Semitic graffiti laced security wall in Bethlehem was very disturbing to many Jews.  The "on the other hand" rhetoric by our president to the world, with Muslim Brotherhood members sitting in his audience was very disturbing to a few Jews.  Too few in my opinion.

This post mentioned two great American women who now live in Israel: Naomi Ragen and Caroline Glick.  Please read this post I did about them in December of 2011: Two Great Women Of The World

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