Mostofsky: Vatican Must Come Clean


vaticanIn the wake of Pope Benedict’s recent trip to Israel, the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) has questioned the Pope’s motives behind visiting the Jewish homeland, and condemned remarks he made during his visit about the Israeli-Palestinian situation and Israel’s security fence. Pope Benedict XVI repeatedly noted his sympathy for the Palestinians with virtually no mention of the ongoing Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. The Pope’s statements were insensitive to the Jewish victims of terror and their families, and the NCYI urged the Vatican to apologize to Jews throughout the world for the remarks.

“The Pope’s historic visit to Israel was filled with missed opportunities,” said NCYI President Shlomo Z. Mostofsky, Esq. “It is unfortunate that the Pope chose to repeatedly use language of division, rather than language of unification, during his time in Israel. Instead of attempting to heal the current divide, the Pope’s statements further exacerbated what is a very volatile situation between Israel and the Palestinians. Regrettably, his words were more inflammatory than conciliatory.”

In remarks delivered at the Aida Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem during his trip, the Pope criticized Israel’s security fence, calling it “a stark reminder of the stalemate that relations between Israelis and Palestinians seem to have reached.” Mostofsky pointed out that Israel commenced construction on the security wall in 2002 only after a determination was made that the barrier was necessary in order to preempt suicide bombings and foil terrorist attacks.

In addition, Pope Benedict expressed his staunch support for an independent Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel. Speaking to the Palestinians, the Pope told them that after all the suffering they have endured they had a right to their own homeland “in the land of your forefathers, secure and at peace with its neighbors, within internationally recognized borders.”

“The Pope’s call for Israel to cede control of its land to the Palestinians is highly hypocritical in light of the Vatican’s continued refusal to return to the Jewish nation holy artifacts, manuscripts, and other items that they confiscated from the Jews dating back to the time of the Holy Temple,” said Mostofsky. “Before insisting that Israel return land that the Palestinians claim to be theirs, the Vatican should open up its archives and return all the of items that unquestionably belonged to the Jews and were stolen and plundered from them throughout the ages.”

Mostofsky noted that the land currently at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian debate was secured by Israel during the Six Day War when Jordan attacked Israel even after Israel asked King Hussein to remain neutral.

Mostofsky also noted that Israeli Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger asked Pope Benedict during his visit to Israel to make the list of the thousands of Jewish children who were left with the Church during the Holocaust available so these people, many of whom are in their 70’s and 80’s, could discover their heritage while they are still alive. Mostofsky called on the Pope to issue a quick and positive response to Rabbi Metzger’s request.

Rabbi Metzger noted in remarks he delivered during recent visits to the Young Israel of Beachwood, Ohio, and the Young Israel of Oak Park, Michigan, that former Rabbi Isaac Herzog, the first Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel, asked Pope Pius XII after the Holocaust to identify Jewish children who were left in the care of the Church. The Pope and the Vatican refused to honor his request.

Mostofsky noted that in light of the Vatican’s refusal to return to Israel the plundered items that it is holding, and its failure to provide elderly Jews raised in Christian homes information about their families and heritage, the Pope is in no position to discuss the equities of the Middle East.

{Elisha Newscenter}


  1. “…about the Israeli-Palestinian situation…”

    What’s a Palestinian? They’re just stam Arab erev rav

  2. We are in Golus!
    Apiopor, as a Melech HaGoim, “must” nothing to Yiddn.
    This one is OK, so to speak.
    BTW, Heilige Shas is still in the “Index of Forbidden Books”