Associated Press reported Saturday: “The Vatican said Iraqi Jews were invited to the event but did not attend, without providing further details.”
Now we know the rest of the story. And so it is clear yet again: interfaith outreach and dialogue all go one way, and result in the Christian side becoming mute about Muslim persecution of Christians, and ultimately becoming less Christian altogether, and more accepting of Islamic mores it should know better than to accept, such as deeply-rooted Islamic antisemitism. The pope didn’t dare say anything about this, because speaking out might have jeopardized his meeting with Sistani and whole visit to Iraq. So what did that visit accomplish? Nothing and less than nothing.
by Jules Gomes, Church Militant, March 8, 2021 (thanks to Tom):
NASSIRIYA, Iraq (ChurchMilitant.com) – Jewish leaders are slamming Pope Francis’ silence on Iraq’s anti-Semitic policies after it emerged that the Iraqi government blocked Jews from attending the pontiff’s interfaith service at the birthplace of Abraham.
A delegation of Jews was unable to attend the “Abrahamic” event even though the Vatican had invited the representatives to be present because “the Iraqi government stymied efforts for any Jews to travel to Iraq,” the Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.
Multiple Jewish sources confirmed to Church Militant the veracity of the Jerusalem Post’s report explaining that Iraq may have barred the Jewish delegation because Iraq does not officially recognize Israel and there are no relations between the two states.
Vatican Questioned for Its Silence
Freddie Dalah, an Iraqi Jew who fled Iraq for Britain years ago, asked Church Militant why “the pope, using this great opportunity, did not take the Iraqi government to task regarding the conspicuous absence of any prominent Jews as a delegation for their community?”
“The absence of Jews from the event confirms the Vatican’s historic silence when it comes to the ethnic cleansing of the Jews not only from Europe but from the Middle East as well,” Dalah observed. “Sincerely, a bit more shrewdness in managing the diplomatic situation regarding the absence of the Jewish community would not have gone amiss.”
Speaking to Church Militant, Iraqi-born Edwin Shuker, vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said he “genuinely believed that the Vatican was misled by the Iraqi government into thinking that there will be a Jewish presence in Ur.”
“The Iraqi government, who intended to do so, recently changed their mind in case the Jewish delegation has links with Israel,” Shuker said, “but they could not find local Jewish representatives and ended up with a wasted opportunity.”
Shuker and his family fled to the United Kingdom in 1971 amid rising tensions, with dozens of Iraqi Jews executed on spurious charges, but regularly travels back to Iraq, working to preserve Jewish shrines and sites to maintain links between Iraq and its displaced Jewish community.
The Vatican “made it a point of telling journalists” that it had invited representatives of Iraq’s Jewish community to attend “despite the fact that Muslims violently purged the Jews from the country decades ago,” wrote Yakir Benzion.
“I am sad that the Iraqi government prevented Jews, Abraham’s children, from participating in what was meant to be a prayer for peace,” lamented well-known Rabbi Elchanan Poupko of the Rabbinical Council of America.
Asking why a rabbi was not present at the birthplace of Abraham as part of the papal event, Middle East analyst, writer and peace activist Yoni Michanie said Francis should have spoken up and also remembered the “tens of thousands of Iraqi Jews who were ethnically cleansed in the late 1940s.”
On Saturday, Church Militant reported the conspicuous absence of Jews from the Ur event, quoting Jewish anthropologist Karen Harradine, who said she found it “insulting to us Jews that we were not included by those who used the birthplace of our first patriarch, Abraham, to virtue signal and mumble meaningless platitudes about healing.”…
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