I read “Pope calls Abbas ‘angel of peace’ during meeting at Vatican” (May 17) and think you may have erred in reporting on it.
I speak Italian. If the Italian version of Pope Francis’s words is correct, he said to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “May you be an angel of peace,” and not “You are an angel of peace.”
LAWRENCE J. GOLDSTEIN Larchmont, New York
The Letters Editor responds: A Vatican source told me that upon close reading of the protocol from the private audience that Pope Francis granted to Abbas, the pontiff’s use of the term “angel of peace” was indeed more conditional than concrete, and that an official clarification could be forthcoming.
By the time this column went to print, however, the Vatican press office had yet to respond. The news item that appeared in the Post, which relied upon reporting by the French news agency AFP regarding the pope’s original statement, generated an outpouring of dismay and even anger from readers. Some of their letters follow.
Many people who read “Pope calls Abbas ‘angel of peace’ during meeting at Vatican” must be shocked.
Pope Francis disappointed Israel.
Contrarily to the Polish Pope John Paul II and the German Pope Benedict XVI, who both expressed friendly attitudes toward the Jews, this new pope reverts the atmosphere.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas an “angel of peace”? He facilitated the murder of the 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team in Munich in 1972.
He presently incites Palestinian Arabs to riot and kill Jews, as well as Christians, in Israel. His murderous activities in terrorism surmount several criminal organizations.
An angelic peace partner? Would the Vatican no longer apply the Jewish Bible? As a Holocaust survivor, I still remember that the interventions by Pope Pius XII to the industrialized mass murder of Jews during the Nazi era were – to say the least – inadequate. Would Hitler, by the measures of the Vatican, have been an “angel of peace”? One thing appears evident: The Vatican’s low standard of moral evaluation for peace, justice and truth concerning Israel proves that its old spirit is still alive against the Jewish people. In my view, we should consider the withdrawal of our ambassador to the Holy See.
HILLEL GOLDBERG Jerusalem
The Palestinian Authority has systematically rid itself of most of the Christian community under its charge. Instead of obvious condemnation by the pope, who should be their guardian, he refers to the PA’s leader, Mahmoud Abbas, as an “angel of peace.”
Talk about cynicism! I suggest to the pope a more accurate term: “angel of death.”
MOSHE STERN Beit Shemesh
Calling Mahmoud Abbas an “angel of peace” is obscene. His PhD thesis involved the denial of the Holocaust, and his regime names city squares in honor of jihadist terrorists.
Pope Francis has lost my respect.
MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC Beersheba
It is not surprising that the pope anointed Mahmoud Abbas, a Holocaust denier, an “angel of peace.”
Jews in Europe suffered pogroms condoned or at least not condemned by the Vatican. Even the Nazis were appalled at the wholesale murder of Jews by Poles, Ukrainians, Romanians and others based on their Catholic upbringing as haters of Jews. Anti-Semitism (or, as I call it, Jew-hating) has been instilled in those nations by their Catholic priests, so what should we expect from the pope?
VELVEL ZEV WEISZ Jerusalem
The only way we can understand the pope calling Mahmoud Abbas an “angel of peace” is if we consider that in Christianity, the word “peace” is a euphemism for death.
SAMUEL DERSHOWITZ Jerusalem
Strange J’lem Day The first thing that caught my attention when I scanned the front page of your May 17 issue was the photo of the Nakba protest on the Temple Mount (“Fight against time”).
I scanned the balance of the page for some news related to the fact that it was Jerusalem Day, the 48th anniversary of the reunification of the city. I then proceeded to go through the rest of the paper.
Except for an op-ed by Michael Freund (“Do we take the Western Wall for granted?” Fundamentally Freund) and an accompanying photo, there was nothing to commemorate the day or report on how it was to be celebrated.
Forty-eight years ago, I sat in a shelter glued to the radio and heard the historic words: “The Temple Mount is in our hands.” For someone like me to believe that The Jerusalem Post has no place to commemorate the day, but does have space to note Nakba protests, sadly leads me to the conclusion that the Post, too, may have reached its post-Zionist phase.
BARRY EISENBERG Jerusalem
Shame on The Jerusalem Post for printing on its front page – on Jerusalem Day, davka – a photo of Arabs waving flags to “mark Nakba (catastrophe) Day... to commemorate the 700,000 Palestinians who fled their homes” in 1948.
There are multiple lies in those words, and since lying about Jews is anti-Semitism, they are anti-Semitic lies.
SHA’I BEN-TEKOA Efrat
Thousands of people came to Jerusalem for Jerusalem Day, professing great love for it. They then threw tons of trash everywhere, leaving the city looking terrible.
A very strange way of expressing one’s love.
ALAN EDELSTEIN Jerusalem
Less like America
So Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been convicted and sentenced to death (“Boston Marathon bomber gets death sentence for 2013 attack,” May 17).
Tsarnaev murdered three people and wounded 264, and obviously had the intent to kill and wound many others. The jury had a choice of life in prison or death; it chose death. Although Massachusetts abolished capital punishment 30 years ago, the trial was held in a federal court, and the death sentence is allowed under US federal law.
As an American citizen, I am happy that the terrorist is getting what he deserves. As an Israeli, I am sick over the fact that we cannot do the same to terrorists here.
We have trials and convictions, and then more trials and convictions.
The terrorists go to prison, where they live wonderful lives, getting university degrees and knowing they will be released someday, perhaps in the near future, to much fanfare and celebration from their people. When freed from their prison hotels, they receive lots of money. Many immediately resume their terrorist activities.
I love my new country but I need to ask: Why can’t we be more like America?
CHANA PINTO Ra’anana
Letters about letters
Kudos to the readers who wrote in about Kulanu (“Kulanu disappoints,” Letters, May 17) for so succinctly expressing the disappointment of many who optimistically voted for the party.
FRED COHEN Petah Tikva
Whether pro or con, readers who wrote in with comments about a recent op-ed piece by former MK Dov Lipman (“Lipman’s lament,” Letters, May 17) missed the real failing of Rabbi Lipman and all those who are critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s deal-making to form a coalition: Why did Rabbi Lipman choose to run from the Center-Left? Many of us despise Shas leader Arye Deri and the concessions he received in return for joining the coalition. But if more Israelis had voted for the Likud, Bayit Yehudi or Kulanu, there would not have been any need to deal with him.
CHAIM ABRAMOWITZ Jerusalem