Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Ebbing Tide; Pope Benedict Dons A Kefiyah

Pope Benedict gave an audience to a group of Catholics in Rome today, including a few Palestinians...and accepted and wore a keffiyah, a symbol of Palestinian 'resistance' from two of them.

Pope Benedict chatted briefly with them while wearing the scarf, which an aide later removed.

I would like to be charitable towards Pope Benedict, whom I genuinely admire as one of the premier intellects in the West and say that he was merely acting with good will towards two members of his faith and was unaware of the symbolism involved.But my knowledge of how brilliant Benedict actually is precludes that.
As Pam from Atlas ( hat tip to JA member Louie Louie) points out, the keffiyah has become more than a simple Arab scarf, but a sign of Islamic jihad against the Jews of Israel.The Pope had to have known that:

The keffiyeh was Yaser Arafat's swastika and became a powerful symbol of jihad. In the ensuing years, the keffiyeh as an icon of anti-Americanism, anti-semitism and anti-westernism took on a life of its own. The death-to-the-Jews marches across the globe during the Israeli defensive earlier this year were awash in keffiyehs from London to Paris, to New York, to Fort Lauderdale, to Bahrain, to Thailand .....well, you get the picture.

The fact is that accepting the keffiyeh is political correctness gone wild. Moral inversion, the inability to distinguish between right and wrong and between good and evil is the sickness in our society.{..}

The swastika had been around long before the Nazis - archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates from the Neolithic period. Would Americans have worn a Nazi armband during World War II (or even now)?

Bottom line, just because the Pope pretends not to recognize the uniform does not mean it is not a uniform. The keffiyeh was the signature of Yaser Arafat and is the signature of Hamas and Hezbollah and the homicide bomber. Pretending it's just a scarf is like pretending the klan's white robe is a toga. Symbols mean something. Attempting to mainstream it, in effect softening its barbaric message, is an affront to every victim of Islamic jihad and the war we are engaged in.

Whether he fully realizes it or not, Pope Benedict just did the equivalent of donning a swastika armband.

And to make the irony even more murderous, it was presented to him by the remnants of the Palestinian Christians from Bethlehem who are being deliberately being driven out of the Holy Land not by the Jews, but by the disciples of Arafat, the man who turned the keffiyah into an emblem of the war against the Jews.

Am I making too much of this? I don't think so.It's part of an ongoing pattern.

Pope Benedict started out from a very different place. I remember him walking alone in the rain as a penitent to Auschwitz, reliving G-d knows what hellish memories from his own past.

When he spoke there,he linked the fate of the Jewish people to the fate of Christianity and the West, acknowledged a common threat from radical Islam and served notice that the battle for Europe's soul had begun. And he followed that up shortly afterwards with a speech at the University of Regensburg that directly challenged radical Islam and spoke out forcefully against jihad and `fanaticism in religion'.

As you remember, that led to an orgy of violence and threats in the Islamic world.. the firebombing of churches, threats to church property like the the church of the Holy Sepulcher still in lands under Muslim control, death threats towards the Pope himself and the actual murder of several priests and nuns.

It changed him. And he chose to cave in to the pressure, humiliate himself and apologize, hoping to fend off a confrontation and a dialog the West and Islam needed badly, whatever the end result.

After that, he repeated that exercise in shame in Turkey actually going so far as to enter a mosque there in the company of its Islamist leader Tayip Erdogan and bow and pray towards Mecca .

It has all gone downhill since then.

During his time as Pope, there has been the movement to beatify Pope Pius XII , the head of the Church during the Holocaust and later make him a saint. There have been the Church's issues with Israel, such as the ridiculous statements from Papal officials likening Gaza to a concentration camp and the constant shilling for the Palestinians in an effort to preserve Church property even as Arab Christians are driven by the Muslims from the Holy Land. There was the abrupt closure of the Vatican's Holocaust archives and the refusal to cooperate with both Catholic and Jewish scholars researching the Church's actions during the Holocaust, the re instituting of the old Pre-Vatican II Latin mass calling for the conversion of the Jews and finally the clumsy attempt at rehabilitation and restoral to the Church's bosom of a bunch of unrepentant Jew haters and Holocaust deniers.

When Iran's Ahmadinejad made his foul speech at the UN earlier this week, virtually the only European delegation not to walk out was the one from the Vatican.

The Pope appears to have made a conscious decision some time ago to reject the truths he spoke at Auschwitz and Regensburg and to avoid a moral battle he knows is inevitable for political expediency...rather like Pius XII in the 1930's.Having seen a glimpse of the possible cost of the fight he was originally willing to take on, he became afraid and chose appeasement.

Even worse, a man of his intellect and essential decency understands only to well the choice he's made and its consequences. I can't help but pity him.



louielouie said...

i kind of think ratzinger just doesn't want a 747 routed through the dome of st. peter's.

B.Poster said...

Perhaps this is not such a decent man after all. Then again the Vatican has no military capability or intellegence services. Unless he receives backing from Western Governments, I see no feasible way for him to confront Islamists.

When he took this job he had to have known what he was getting into. If he was not up to it, as he currently does not seem to be, then he never should have taken the position.