Thursday, July 28, 2005

Pope Benedict Just Kind of Throws It Out There

From AP:

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican on Thursday denounced some Israeli retaliations against past terrorism as a violation of international law in an ongoing spat over Pope Benedict XVI's failure to specifically condemn terror against Israel in recent remarks.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned the Vatican envoy to Israel on Monday and complained that Benedict "deliberately" didn't mention a July 12 suicide bombing in Netanya while referring to recent terror strikes in Egypt, Britain, Turkey and Iraq.

"It's not always possible to immediately follow every attack against Israel with a public statement of condemnation," a statement from the Vatican press office said Thursday night, "and (that is) for various reasons, among them the fact that the attacks against Israel sometimes were followed by immediate Israeli reactions not always compatible with the rules of international law."

"It would thus be impossible to condemn the first (the terror strikes) and let the second (Israeli retaliation) pass in silence," said the statement, which had an unusually blistering tone for the Holy See.

It would be interesting to know precisely what Israel has done that Pope Benedict believes violates international law. It seems to me that, unless AP is not correctly reporting the contents of this Vatican statement (which is a distinct possibility), that Pope Benedict is being irresponsible in making such a non-specific allegation against Israel.

Let me be clear that I do not think that Israel has never done anything wrong. But, they certainly are wrongly accused of heinous crimes quite often. Just read about the Jenin situation, for instance. The fact that they are wrongly accused so often means that a responsible person ought to be doubly sure, and highly specific when criticizing Israel. Otherwise, one might light a fire one could never put out.