Vatican Boycott Of Israel Holocaust Memorial Day "Inappropriate,
John Paul II greeted a delegation from the Anti-Defamation
League (ADL) to the Vatican in 2004 with a prayer for an
end to racism and assurances that the "close bonds
of friendship" between Catholics and Jews would continue.
Relations between the ADL, Israel and the Vatican had been
Israel News Agency
--- April 14 ..... The
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in an honest, open and harsh criticism
of the Vatican has called the decision by the Vatican ambassador
to Israel to boycott the Holocaust memorial services at Yad
Vashem "inappropriate and insulting."
Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
repeated its long-standing call for the Vatican to open its
wartime archives so that the facts concerning the wartime actions
of Pope Pius XII may finally be brought to light.
Antonio Franco, the Vatican's ambassador to Israel, has made
the unprecedented announcement that he will boycott the April
16 memorial events at Yad Vashem, Israel's national memorial
to the Holocaust, in protest of a photo caption in an exhibit
that seemingly charges Pope Pius XII with failing to save Jews
during the Holocaust.
we understand Archbishop Franco's displeasure about the photo
caption, his decision to boycott the entire Holocaust Memorial
Day ceremonies is unnecessarily insulting and unbecoming,"
said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust
survivor. "The photo caption may be inappropriate and too
judgmental, but it does not justify the Vatican's refusal to
participate in Israel's national observation of Holocaust Memorial
Foxman said the episode served as yet another reminder of the
need for the Vatican to declassify all archival materials covering
the period of the rise of the Third Reich in Germany and World
War II, "so that legitimate independent scholars and historians
can study and analyze them and help us to finally learn the
facts concerning Pope Pius XII and his actions vis-a`-vis Jews
during the Holocaust.
the public release and analysis of the Vatican's wartime archives,
the questions about Pope Pius XII will remain unresolved,"
said Mr. Foxman. "These records have special significance
for Holocaust survivors and their families. We strongly urge
the Vatican to make public access to the archives their highest
1998, the Vatican apologized to Jews on behalf of the entire
Roman Catholic community, for failing to speak out against the
Nazi holocaust during World War Two.
his letter accompanying the apology, Pope John Paul said the
holocaust remained an indelible stain on the 20th century. Cardinal
Edward Cassidy, Head of the Vatican Commission, says it is an
act of repentance.
The Head of the Vatican Commission, Cardinal Edward Cassidy,
said the Vatican's statement amounted to an act of repentance
as well as an apology.
document asks whether persecution was made easier because some
Christians held anti-Jewish prejudices.
it also declares that many people were unaware of Hitler's so-called
Pope John Paul has said he hopes the apology will help to heal
the wounds of past injustices and misunderstandings between
Christians and Jews. But the document made no criticism of the
Pope of the time, Pius XII, who has been accused by the Jews
of pro-German tendencies.
Vatican mentions that Pius XII saved hundreds of thousands of
Jewish lives himself or through his representatives.
the document fails to explain why Pope Pius never took sides
during World War Two by speaking out against the holocaust while
it was actually taking place. The Vatican has always maintained
he did everything he could behind the scenes to stop the slaughter.
the document, the Vatican asks all Christians to meditate upon
the catastrophe. The apology ends by warning that the seeds
of anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism must never again be allowed
to take root.
US Jewish community voiced disappointment at the Vatican's statement
back in 1998 and is expressing outrage today regarding the boycott
Israel Holocaust Memorial Day..
are very sad, very disappointed," said Rabbi Leon Klenicki,
director of the Department of Interfaith Affairs of the Anti
document falls short of the mark, it's taking a step backward,"
Rabbi Klenicki said.
World Jewish Congress (WJC) issued a terse statement saying
"those of us engaged in the dialogue have not yet succeeded."
statement "does not compare favorably with the French Catholic
Bishops' Conference or the German Catholic Bishops' Conference,"
former WJC executive director Elan Steinberg said .
Bishops in France, Germany and Poland admitted they were at
fault for their failure to react to Jewish persecution half
a century ago. But it was not until 1965 that the Vatican eliminated
the phrase "perfidious Jews" from the liturgy of a
Holy Week service.
then, relations between the Holy See and the Jewish state have
John Paul II has dedicated much of his near 20-year-old papacy
to improving relations with Jews, whom he refers to as "older
brothers," after centuries of animosity.
another related Holocaust issue, the ADL, which had maintained
good relations with the Vatican, recently urged Pope Benedict
to help protect Jews from Iran, saying it and its president
were examples of a new "global malignancy" of anti-Semitism
that could bring another Holocaust.
Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League in the
United States, made his comments in an address to the Pope during
an audience at the Vatican.
hope you will declare the Church's commitment to do everything
in its power to prevent another Holocaust against the Jewish
people from any party of the globe, including Iran," Foxman
told the Pope. "In this generation arises a country's leader
who not only denies the Holocaust, the attempted genocide of
the Jewish people but again threatens to wipe out Israel, the
state of the Jewish people - the president of Iran," Foxman
told the Pope.
XII - focuses on birds while ignoring Nazis?
The ADL is demanding that the Vatican open its wartime archives.
State of Israel will mark the start of Holocaust Remembrance
Day this evening in memory of the six million Jews murdered
by the Nazis and their helpers, as well as those who rose up
in revolt against the Nazi barbarism, .
annual state ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. at Yad Vashem.
solemn hour-long opening event, which will be broadcast live
on national television channels and radio, will be attended
by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Acting President Dalia Itzik,
as well as scores of dignitaries and ambassadors from around
Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority said this
would mark the first time in which a foreign emissary deliberately
skipped the ceremony.
Vashem officials said over the weekend that it might be worthwhile
for the Vatican ambassador to do some soul-searching over whether
he wants to use the memory of the Holocaust and its victims
in this way.
Foreign Ministry said that, "The state ceremony at Yad
Vashem is designed to honor the memory of the victims of the
Holocaust, the most traumatic event in Jewish history and one
of the most traumatic events in human history. As for participation
in the ceremony, each person invited must act according to their
year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a former Revolutionary
Guardsman, called Israel a "tumour" which must be
"wiped off the map", provoking a diplomatic storm
and stoking up fears about Iran's nuclear ambitions.
also aired his doubts about the veracity of the Holocaust, in
which six million Jews were killed by the Nazis. His comments
drew rebuke the world over, including from the Vatican at the
sadly, the profound evil of anti-Semitism has become a global
malignancy, emanating with vicious, violent, virulent force
from the Middle East and (from) fundamental Islam," Foxman
said in his speech.
ADL defines its mission as fighting hatred, extremism and terrorism.
"Our goal is to make the world a safer place. Over the
past few years, we have expanded our expertise and capabilities
to confront a more dangerous world.
Our three priorities are to: gather, analyze and disseminate
intelligence on extremism and hate activity, enhance law enforcements
ability to combat serious threats and provide assistance, support
and resources on security to the Jewish community.
a few days ago the ADL addressed racist attacks against American
Afro-American saying that the suspension of US talk-show host
Don Imus for racist and sexist remarks he made about the Rutgers
women's basketball team was "a long time in coming,"
given his history of racist and anti-Semitic invective on his
"Imus in the Morning" program. The suspension goes
into effect next week.
is about time that Imus has finally been called to account for
engaging in racism and intolerance on his program," said
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "He's gotten
away with insensitive and stereotypical remarks about Blacks,
Jews, women, homosexuals and others far too often. His suspension
by CBS Radio and MSNBC was a long time in coming. Mr. Imus has
to be held accountable, and must continue to be held accountable
for his use of the public airwaves to promote racism and anti-Semitism."
the last several years, ADL has logged dozens of complaints
about Mr. Imus' on-air remarks. The League had twice written
to Mr. Imus - in December 2004 and December 2006 - to voice
concern about stereotypical remarks he and his co-hosts had
made on the air about Jews and others. The League never received
any response from Mr. Imus or his "Imus in the Morning"
November 30, 2006, Mr. Imus and his co-hosts referred to the
"Jewish management at whoever we work for, CBS" whom
he later described as "money grubbing bastards." That
discussion resulted in a barrage of phone calls, letters and
e-mails to ADL from listeners and viewers.
December 2004, Mr. Imus referred to publishers of a new book
called "The Christmas Thief" as "thieving Jews."
Later on the same program, he attempted to apologize for that
remark by saying (of thieving Jews), "I apologize
I realize that's redundant."
a half million children were murdered during the Holocaust.
Many were used (above) for barbaric "experiments".
Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading
organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services
that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.