Pope Francis Proves How Stagnant Israel Has Become

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Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead his weekly audience in St.Peter's square, at the Vatican City, May 13, 2015.Credit: Reuters

What’s his story? Why is he butting in? How many divisions does he have that he keeps advancing forward? Since his election, the smoke hasn’t stopped coming out of his chambers.

Maybe he doesn’t know, maybe his cardinals haven’t briefed him. Here, in the Holy Land, nobody speaks of peace any more, or of justice, either. So what’s the point of recognizing the “State of Palestine” now, of all occasions? And why praise a terrorist like Mahmoud Abbas and call him “a man of peace” – just to hurt our feelings?

The whispered rumors are that the Vatican is plotting and scheming to use the Holy See’s status to bring Israeli and Palestinian hearts closer, as though the embers were still crackling and there was still hope.

Had he asked us, we’d have told him not to wake the dead, nobody here is interested. One more statement like that and we’ll bring up the Church’s notorious anti-Semitism and pin it on you. Take an example from Barack Obama – another naive, well-wishing type like yourself – he understands who he’s dealing with now.

In the past week you made the same grave error Obama made before you. You distinguished between a nation and its government. I ask you, is it possible to be a friend of Israel and not to tolerate our Bibi? You’ll take the best of us, but not the worst? And how can you declare two Palestinian nuns saints and ignore Santa Sara?

Something’s gone to your head, Papa. Perhaps your success in thawing the relations between America and Cuba confused you and gave you illusions. Lo, old enemies are smoothing over their differences and ending 50 years of being bad neighbors.

The Middle East, for your information, is not Latin America. Israel as a power is not shabby Cuba. We cannot live without dying, it’s not easy to kick the drug-of-death habit. What will Netanyahu do without the dead to ensure his longevity?

Anyway, the new spirit you’re trying to bring to the world isn’t suitable for us. Israel isn’t ready yet to allow a bride to marry a bride and a groom to marry a groom. Don’t pretend to be naïve: We all know that without your silent consent, the Irish – devout Catholics that they are – wouldn’t have voted for same-sex marriage.

Also, your war against the corrupt clergy isn’t our war. We prefer the rabbinate the way it is, rotten. The papal solidarity with the world’s poor seems considerably exaggerated to us. Already they say you’re a Marxist in a red cape. Not our cup of tea.

A few days ago an OECD report was released. Israel, which came ninth in the Eurovision, won second place in the poverty category. Another small effort and we’ll get the coveted title of the West’s champion in the battle for poverty. Our eternal capital will soon be known as “Jerusalem of Squalor.”

Has the voice of the chief rabbi sounded in our land as has the voice of Pope Franciscus, warning day and night of injustice and inequality as the main threats to the human race? When have we last heard a rabbi taking on the fight of a poor, underprivileged person? Our rabbis are small–time religious functionaries, whose hearts are closed to their flock. Only gay people, Reform Jews, rebellious women and Arabs can galvanize them out of their inertia.

What does an old man have in his life, if not the last match that still burns and lights flames? Old age does not have to be humiliating, sometimes it can even be uplifting. Not everyone is like good old Benny Begin.

No one in the Jewish world today can match the pope’s stature; no rabbi can light a candle to his holiness. The Torah world, like its teachers and rabbis, is stagnant.

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