German cardinal sorry for ghetto
By Eli Ashkenazi
The head of the German Bishops Conference conceded that some statements made by members on a recent visit to Israel and the West Bank were "inappropriate." Cardinal Karl Lehmann responded a few days ago to a letter sent to him by Avner Shalev, chairman of the Yad Vashem Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority, protesting a statement made a short time after the group visited Yad Vashem earlier this month, and then traveled to Ramallah. "In the morning we saw the Warsaw Ghetto and now it's the Ramallah Ghetto," one of the bishops said.
"In light of the painful reality of the separation fence," Lehman wrote in his letter to Shalev, "some of the members of the delegation said harsh tings, some of which were not appropriate." In his letter Lehmann reiterated the heavy responsibility the German people bear due to the Holocaust, and that even those who expressed themselves harshly recognized Israel's right to defend itself. He said the bishop who made the statement had no intention to compare the past and the present and wrote, "It is impossible to compare current problems with the murder of the Jewish people."
Well it's a relief to see the errors of those uppity German Bishops corrected. They did originally demonstrate a proper understanding of the holy doctrine of "'Israel's' right to exist," but their comparison of "Jewish" suffering to the suffering of the Palestinians was way beyond the pale! Good Heavens! "Jews" have the Neshama; ie. the "glorious soul" which is a "part of God above." The Palestinians (and the rest of us non-"Jews," for that matter) do not have the Neshama. Palestinians only have the Nephesh, or animal soul, which derives from the impure, demonic Kelifa (ie. shells). Therefore, any comparison of Palestinian suffering to that of the "Jews" is an outrageous sacrilege. And perhaps in this context we can understand why Benedict XVI, in his speech at Auschwitz last year stated that the Nazis, "tried to kill God."
Wouldn't it be interesting to know exactly how the correction of the German Bishops' rhetoric came about so quickly. We can safely assume that it was deafening screeching from the ADL, WJC, AJC, EJC, Simon Weisenthal Center, Yad Vashem, and various other Judaic power organizations which initiated the change. But who in Rome made the decision, and how was it handed down? Was it rabbi Walter Cardinal Kasper, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews who handled the matter? And what will the Bishops' penance be? A pilgrimage to the Holy Site of Auschwitz on their hands and knees? I'll be watching closely. Time will tell.