Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Thursday 14 March 2013

"You, My Elder Brothers": Pope Francis & Jewry

It seems that the affable new pontiff, Pope Francis, had a warm relationship with the Latin American Jewish Congress when, as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and there are high hopes that his cordiality towards Jews will continue now that he's installed in the Vatican.

What his papal attitude towards Israel will be is, of course, an uncharted matter.

Reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

'After the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in 1994, he "showed solidarity with the Jewish community," [American Jewish Committee's interfaith affairs director Rabbi David] Rosen said.
In 2005, Bergoglio was the first public personality to sign a petition for justice in the AMIA bombing case. He also was one of the signatories on a document called "85 victims, 85 signatures" as part of the bombing's 11th anniversary. In June 2010, he visited the rebuilt AMIA building to talk with Jewish leaders.
"Those who said Benedict was the last pope who would be a pope that lived through the Shoah, or that said there would not be another pope who had a personal connection to the Jewish people, they were wrong," Rosen said....
Israel Singer, the former head of the World Jewish Congress, said he spent time working with Bergoglio when the two were distributing aid to the poor in Buenos Aires in the early 2000s, part of a joint Jewish-Catholic program called Tzedaka....
Bergoglio also wrote the foreward of a book by Rabbi Sergio Bergman, a Buenos Aires legislator, and referred to him as “one of my teachers.”....
Bergoglio attended Rosh Hashanah services at the Benei Tikva Slijot synagogue in September 2007....
Last November, Bergoglio hosted a Kristallnacht memorial event at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral with Rabbi Alejandro Avruj from the NCI-Emanuel World Masorti congregation.
He also has worked with the Latin American Jewish Congress and held meetings with Jewish youth who participate in its New Generations program....
In his visit to the Buenos Aires synagogue, according to the Catholic Zenit news agency, Bergoglio told the congregation that he was there to examine his heart "like a pilgrim, together with you, my elder brothers."....'
Read the entire JTA report here


  1. If what is said about Jesuits, their love and respect for learning, intelligence, open mind, then the new Pope would have more in common with the Jews than with those who follow a violent jihadist doctrine. So, although coming from a position of complete ignorance regarding the new pope, I have high hopes.

  2. While he is not the leader of the Jesuits, it's fascinating that the head of that order is sometimes slurred within the Curia with the name, "The Black Pope" alluding to the Jesuits somewhat arrogant and abrasive nature. So now we have a black pope who's the white pope, sort of.

    1. And not arrogant and abrasive at all, it appears.

  3. FYI. Tony Abbott, our next Prime Minister, is a Jesuit

    1. Educated at Sydney's Jesuit schools, including Riverview College, and after an LL.B at Sydney Uni (where he was active in student politics and prominent nationally as an opponent of the hard left controlled virulently anti-Israel Australian Union of Students, along with Michael Danby) and an MA as a Rhodes Scholar at Queen's College, Oxford, trained for the priesthood at St Patrick's seminary in Manly (the beautiful building on the hill) but discontinued his studies after three years.

      And yes, definitely Australia's next PM. Six months to go and not a day too soon.


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