Newsletter : 7fax1031.txt
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>JN Oct. 31, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 200
Top Theologian Says Religion Fueled Anti-Semitism
An unprecedented Vatican symposium on the Christian roots of
anti-Semitism opened Thursday with a top Catholic theologian
blaming Christian religious prejudices for a lack of resistance to
anti-Semitism in the Nazi era. The statement by Father Georges
Cottier was significant because he is very close to Pope John Paul
II. The symposium on how Christian attitudes against Jews fueled
anti-Semitism began as a leading Jewish group again called on the
Vatican to open its files on the Holocaust.
Vatican Prepares A Major "Mea Culpa Over Anti-Semitism"
By IINS News Service
No one is coming out and saying so directly in the Vatican, but
insiders are certain: Before the holy year 2000, Pope John Paul II
plans a major "mea culpa" over anti-Semitism.
Following the recent apologies by French bishops for their silence
during the Nazi era, following the Spanish clergy's announcement of
intent to issue a similar apology over the Franco era, there is
also movement within the Roman Catholic Church in the Vatican.
A group of 60 theologians are meeting in the Vatican today for a
three-day symposium on one of the most difficult chapters in the
history of their church.
The Vatican is adopting a cautious approach. The colloquium's
title, "Roots of anti-Semitism in the Christian World," has an
unpolitical ring, without direct reference to recent history.
Protestant and Orthodox theologians are taking part in addition to
Roman Catholics -- but no Jews. Vatican sources say the idea is
first to establish "a theological basis" for historic repentance,
involving examining 2,000 years of relations between Christians and
The question is how concretely the mea culpa will be expressed.
Papal "in-house" theologian Georges Cottier, who has prepared the
Vatican colloquium, makes clear: "There are theologically incorrect
and false interpretations of the New Testament which served as an
excuse for a diffuse hostility in large areas of Christendom...all
too much unjustified behavior was justified in this way. From
there, too, came the passiveness and lack of reaction shown by many
Christians when the wave of Hitler violence broke out in Europe."
Soldier with Appendicitis Told to Hitchhike
By IINS News Service
IDF reserve soldier, Ibrahim Tariff, 22, was sent by an IDF
physician, from a base in the Jordan Valley to Hadassah Hospital on
Mount Scopus- by hitchhiking a ride. The soldier complained of
abdominal pain, which the doctor feared, may have been an infected
appendix. He told the soldier to make the trip, over 30 miles, by
hitchhiking a ride.
The soldier apparently collapsed on the way and was brought into
the hospital in a private Arab vehicle. He underwent emergency
surgery for appendicitis, shortly after his arrival.
According to Sharif, a resident of the lower Galil Region, the
physician and his company commander insisted he make his own way to
the hospital. Sharif did manage to make his way to Jerusalem, but
when he got out of the vehicle and tried to continue to the
hospital, he collapsed.
The vehicle stopped and picked up the soldier, dressed in his
uniform with his automatic weapon, and drove him to the hospital.
Sharif stated when he saw the Arabs coming towards him he was
"scared to death," but unable to move due to the severe pain.
In its official response, the IDF stated that the matter will be
investigated. Officials in the medical corps view this a most
serious incident and stated that there is no excuse for a patient
suspected of having an acute appendicitis, not to have been
immediately taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
Bedouin Tensions Rising
By IINS News Service
According to a report prepared by Israeli security officials,
the approximately 150,000 Bedouins living in Israel may shift their
political loyalty and anti-police activities may be forthcoming
in the near future in southern Israel.
The report states the Bedouin community is a "time bomb" and it
appears inevitable that there will be conflicts between Bedouins
and the police. The report follows the ill-famed letter sent by
Minister of Agriculture Raful Eitan to the prime minister.
The private letter was leaked to the press, creating a stir. Eitan
warned that the loyalty of the Bedouin in Israel was in question
regarding the future. Eitan's letter specifically addressed the
increasing number of illegal Bedouin homes and pointed out that
they live on lands illegally. Eitan called upon the appropriate
government agencies to take actions to remove the squatters.
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