Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Vatican Council for Justice and Peace, recently said that the people of Gaza live in «a big concentration camp». The Pope has to deal with many lies during his visit to Israel. One of them is regarding Gaza. From there 8000 rockets has been fired into Israel.
Which concentration camp ever launched a single rocket at its guards, let alone over 8,000, as the Gazans have done?
The 1988 Hamas Charter declares:
«Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors». (Article 13).
How do you, even if you are the pope, talk peace to men like that, or to mothers who dress their sons in suicide belts?
Whether Aeschylus or Hiram Johnson said it first, many agree that «the first casualty of war is truth». And that is nowhere truer than in the Middle East, where lies and outright fabrications have added greatly to an already rancorous debate.
Worse than that, many have spread around the world along with any number of conspiracy theories, many of them echoes of Nazi propaganda during the 1930s and ’40s.
If the pope is limited in what he can do to further peace, perhaps he can use his visit to speak out about these lies. Is not, after all, one of the several sins against the Holy Spirit «resisting or impugning the known truth»?
Israel would also be a perfect place for Benedict to denounce another churchman who has indulged in a similar distortion of the truth. Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Vatican Council for Justice and Peace, recently bought in to a smaller but equally vicious lie, namely that the people of Gaza live in «a big concentration camp».
This sits next to other popular lies, chiefly that Israelis/Jews are really Nazis who kill babies for sport, or that there has been genocide, even a holocaust in Gaza.
What Nazis ever provided oil, water, food and medicines to camp inmates, as the Israelis have done?
What camps had shops stocked from floor to ceiling with goods, or are studded with expensive villas and apartment blocks?
What camp inmates would ever have set about destroying £14 million worth of greenhouses provided for their well-being, as the Gazans did in 2005?
Source: JPost.com: Essay: The pope, the Holy Land and the truth By Denis Maceoin.