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B'siyata d'shmaya - With the help of Heaven


In the Aftermath: How the Church Insults the Dead
(After the Istanbul Synagogue Bombings)

17 November 2003

Editorial by S. Alfassa for the World Sephardi News Service (WSNS)

So here we are, just a couple days post-devastation, and now emotions will peak once again as the dead are buried. On Tuesday members of the Istanbul Jewish community murdered by Arab terrorists will have funerals, one by one. The ceremonies will be attended by both Turkish and Israeli politicians, the Chief Rabbis of Israel, and thousands of Turks, both Jew and Muslim.

The Jews of Turkey are, generally speaking, descendants of refugees who were allowed to come live in the Turkish lands, while escaping from Christian slaughter and persecution. The 15th century Roman Catholic Church along with its branches in Iberia had a policy that everyone must believe in their man-god or suffer torture, arrest and persecution. This culminated with the Catholic Church banishing Jews from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1497. The Jews left enmasse, with nothing but some personal items. They suffered terribly during their rushed departure, many tortured, many killed in an exodus of gigantic proportion.

Descendants of those 15th century Jews were killed in the recent double suicide bombing. Immediately after the attack political leaders around the world (most under the guide of political correctness) condemned the bombings. Even Karol Józef Wojtyla aka John Paul II sent his condolences to Turkey. But were Karol's comments sincere, were they intrinsic? No, they were embedded with anti-Jewish rhetoric. It's what some intellectuals are calling the "new anti-Semitism." Pope John Paul condemned recent attacks in Turkey as "evil acts of terrorism" but then in the same breath criticized Israel for building a barrier snaking into "occupied territories."

The Pope utilized a terrible event such as the murder of 27 and wounding of 300 people to make a political statement which furthers his goals. The near-death shadow of a man reached out his window in Vatican Square and said: "In fact, the Holy Land does not need walls but bridges." Easy for him to say, he's not getting shot at and bombed on a daily basis from his neighbors! Instead of just making an outright statement of condemnation, he tagged on some statements which slammed Israel for wanting to protect itself. He added that the new security wall which separates Arab occupied Israeli cities from non-Arab occupied Israeli cities is an "obstacle in the face of peace." What the Church chief does not understand is it is not an obstacle to peace, but an obstacle from being blown to pieces!

The extrinsic nature of the friendship between the Jews and the Church in modern times is once again demonstrated by the Pope's statements. Though he called for an "end to violence and terrorism spawned by religious intolerance" I want to remind the gentle reader that it was the Church and its own "religious intolerance" and "terrorism" which drove the Jews to Turkey in the first place. Hypocrites, the Roman Catholic Church and its leaders should take a long look at itself before putting it's own foot in it's mouth.

As we mourn for our Turkish brothers, both Jew and Muslim, and as the bodies are lowered in to their final resting place, the Catholic Church was the last entity many would think would use such a tragedy to advance their agenda. The Church continues to support the Arab enemies of the Jewish people--people who want NOTHING more than what we wanted in the 15th century, just to be left alone. We could honestly say, though it was never perfect, the Jewish people have lived under Muslim rule in the Ottoman and Turkish lands much better than they ever have in Christian or Arab lands.