At the height of the Holocaust, Pope Pius XII made known to President Franklin D. Roosevelt his opposition to Palestine becoming a Jewish homeland, according to a letter from the U.S. Archives obtained by The Jerusalem Post from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Dated June 22, 1943, the letter sent by A. G. Cicognani, the pope’s special representative to the U.S., to Ambassador Myron Taylor, Roosevelt’s special emissary to Pius XII, is believed to be the first explicit expression of Pius’s policy against Zionism conveyed to the American government.
“It is true that at one time Palestine was inhabited by the Hebrew Race, but there is no axiom in history to substantiate the necessity of a people returning to a country they left nineteen centuries before,” the letter reads.
“If a ‘Hebrew Home’ is desired, it would not be too difficult to find a more fitting territory than Palestine. With an increase in the Jewish population there, grave, new international problems would arise.”
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said the letter “is an indictment of Pius XII, because it basically says that when the pope wanted a point of view expressed about how he clearly felt, he said it clearly. Where is a similar letter to Adolf Hitler, telling Hitler that the Vatican finds his policies against the Jews repugnant? But at the height of the Holocaust, the Vatican knew how to oppose the State of Israel.”
Rabbi David Rosen, head of the Israel office of the Anti‑Defamation League and an expert on Catholic‑Jewish relations, said that “it has been well known for a long time of the shameful policy the Holy See maintained during that period, and this is just but one confirmation of that fact.”
Rosen said Pius’s anti‑Zionism was a continuation of long‑standing Vatican policy, which all changed with the issuing of Nostra Aetate.
Hier said the letter, which was found last month in research being conducted on Pope Pius, further spotlights the issue of the church’s moving forward his candidacy for sainthood.
“Many people have asked me, what is it our business who the Catholics appoint a saint?” Hier said, “Normally I would agree with that. But in the presence of survivors, tens of thousands of whom are still alive in their last few years, that they should live out their lives knowing that the person whom they heard nothing from, nothing but silence, has been designated as a saint – many people around the world will say a saint was alive in the Vatican during the Holocaust. That is an insult to the memory of the Holocaust, and is an insult to the survivors.”
(By Elli Wohlgelerntre, The Jerusalem Post, July 9, 1999)
THE MYSTERY OF CHARLEY REESE
A tale of two columnists, as different from each other as is humanly possible in their view of the Middle East. First, four quotes from the columnist who is second to none in his support for Israel:
- “Yes, I love the state of Israel. It is everything a Western democracy should be at this point in history: brave, resourceful, tough, realistic, in search of peace but ready for war. It is a King Arthur of nations which is showing the rest of us how a brave and free people ought to live...”
- “...I have no use for the [Palestine Liberation Organization). It is not a political organization, it is a criminal organization and a very wealthy one at that. Any government which recognizes the PLO is condoning murder and extortion.”
- “The notion of homeless Palestinians is a myth. Some people who consider themselves Palestinians are in fact homeless but a majority are not. Those Arabs who lived in and continue to live in that part of Palestine now called Jordan are obviously neither homeless nor without a country.. Those Arabs who chose to remain in the area that became Israel... are not homeless and never have been.”
- “Solutions can never come from myths, they must be based on facts. That will not be possible, however, until people who hate Israel stop exploiting the Palestinian issue...”
And now four quotes from the columnist who, it is safe to say, is the polar opposite of the gentleman quoted above:
- “To deny that Palestinians were driven out of their homes is the equivalent of denying the Holocaust.”
- “...[T]here’s no group of people in the world who are more clearly victims of ethnic cleansing than the Palestinian refugees who have been rotting in refugee camps for 50 years. Palestinians were ethnically cleansed in 1948 and again in 1967.”
- “Because we are all sure that Clinton and the other heads of state who lead the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are men of honor and wouldn’t think of lying [in their justifications for the bombing in Yugoslavia], we can be sure then that as soon as this Balkan business is completed... Israel will be told to withdraw its forces from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem... and [to] allow all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and to live there safely. Or else the bombs will fall on Tel Aviv.”
- “The Zionists in America are the biggest enemy of freedom of speech and freedom of‑the press there is.”
Identification time. The name of the latter writer, the fiery advocate of “ethnically cleansed” Palestinians and bitter denouncer of Zionists? It’s Charley Reese, an Orlando Sentinel columnist syndicated in at least 85 newspapers nationwide, whose columns are featured on a Hamas website.
And the name of the first columnist quoted, the staunch champion of Israel and debunker of Palestinian claims? Why, it’s also Charley Reese, circa 1986 – and therein lies a great mystery, because sometime between the late 1980’s and the mid‑1990’s something apparently happened that caused Reese to turn on Israel and assume the persona of a low‑rent Patrick Buchanan.
It’s not exactly clear why Reese turned; some critics, among them the editor emeritus of the Orlando‑based Heritage Florida Jewish News, have alluded to rumors about Reese’s personal life, while others speculate that Reese simply came under the influence of several hardcore Israeli leftists whom he regularly quotes in his columns.
Motives aside, the big problem with Reese, says Batsheva Genut, senior research analyst at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), is his habit “of using false information and distorted, baseless statistics as evidence for his reckless claims.”
Earlier this year CAMERA issued a detailed, point‑by‑point refutation of one of Reese’s more blatantly misleading columns and urged Orlando Sentinel publisher John Puerner to take a closer look at “Reese’s disregard for the facts... and to provide Sentinel readers with accurate information regarding the current situation in the Middle East.”
For now, though, the newspaper is downplaying the controversy, refusing even to run an advertisement critical of Reese that was to have been paid for by a coalition of concerned parties.
(By Jason Maoz, Staff Writer, The Jewish Press, June 25, 1999)
EXPOSED! Israeli Media Admits It Destroyed Netanyahu And Buried Barak Scandals
Be careful what you wish for... For the first time the Israeli media has revealed that they worked long and hard to bring down former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a concerted disinformation campaign. Arutz 7 reported last weekend that the Israeli media magazine Seventh Eye carried several ‘eye‑opening” reports on the conduct of the local press during the Netanyahu Administration and the recent election campaign.
The Jewish Press was virtually the only Anglo‑Jewish media outlet which tried to point out the various disinformation campaigns launched at Mr. Netanyahu in Israel and even here in the USA through the gullible and culpable Anglo‑Jewish weeklies. Not everyone was convinced we were telling the truth but as David Bar‑Illan, Mr. Netanyahu’s former media and policy guru told me recently, “The Jewish Press is the only Zionist Jewish newspaper still out there.”
Now the truth be told... Here is the Arutz 7 story from last weekend which reported on the disinformation campaign:
The latest edition of the media newspaper, The Seventh Eye, chastises Israeli radio, television and newspapers for their treatment of Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Likud party during the election campaign. In one piece, the paper claimed that an activist employed by Ehud Barak’s One Israel party actually threatened to shoot Likud Knesset candidate Liat Rivner. In a report that gives credence to pre-election Likud allegations, The Seventh Eye discussed the Channel 2 news staff’s decision not to publicize extensive information it possessed on the criminal activities of the fictitious organizations associated with Ehud Barak.
Voice of Israel broadcaster Carmit Guy issued her own condemnation of the Ha’aretz newspaper for its treatment of Prime Minister Netanyahu in the course of the campaign. She even hinted that many of the anonymous anti‑Netanyahu advertisements in the paper were composed by the Ha’aretz editorial staff itself.
(By Steve K. Walz, Editor of Informed Sources, The Jewish Press, July 9, 1999)
ARAFAT AND BARAK VOW A NEW ERA OF PEACE
The Palestinian and Israeli leaders promised to unfreeze the Wye River accords. EREZ CROSSING POINT, Gaza Strip – Gripping hands and grinning after their first summit, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat pledged Sunday to rebuild trust and to carry out U.S.‑brokered accords quickly.
Each man spoke in terms that have rarely been heard since 1996, when the hard‑line Benjamin Netanyahu took office: “respect,” “peace of the brave,” and mutual expressions of sympathy for each other’s fears and hopes.
With a Labor party‑led government back in power, along with a commitment to securing peace through conceding land, the differences in chemistry and content could not be sharper.
(By Mark Lavie, Associated Press, July 19, 1999)
HOW DID BIBI MISS THE BOAT?
A strongly pro‑Jewish, pro‑Zionist, longtime Southern Christian friend, Emily Hoefle – valiant champion of the late Pastor Charles Taze Russell, who aided this writer in the publication of the 1985 and 1990 editions of his book, “An Early American Christian Zionist,” on his prophecies of Israel’s rebirth as Biblically ordained – summed up her feelings about the recent Israeli elections in a letter to this writer.
“In one sense, I am sorry Bibi did not win, but in another sense I am glad he didn’t. He wanted to do Hashem’s will but couldn’t, under the present government, and that is the only government Israel can have at the present time. But Hashem’s Biblically ordained regime will be the only government that will bring peace – not only to Israel, but to the entire world...”
I fully share Mrs. Hoefle’s view. I am happy to note that our Jewish people could not have a better friend. In fact, Netanyahu, during his UN days, read my manuscript of the Pastor Russell book before publication, endorsing it with the following favorable comments published on the jacket of the book along with the endorsement of our mutual friend, Jeane Kirkpatrick:
“The renowned Christian preacher and Bible scholar Charles Taze Russell (1852‑1916) is known to many as the founder of J. Witnesses. But few realize that Pastor Russell was an early advocate of Zionism, and that he predicted the imminent return of the Jewish people to Israel. This collection of relevant articles and letters disclose some previously unknown facts about Russell, such as the anticipation of Theodore Herzl’s call for a return of the Jews to the Holy Land.”
That Bibi‑did not win the elections, is partly his own fault. He got into the habit of antagonizing his close Likud friends (Benny Begin, Mordechai), most of whom not only opposed his reelection but also ran against him – eventually withdrawing, with their vote going to Barak. And Barak, as a leader, should not be underestimated. He has a lot of “Bibi” in him.
Moreover, as his Likud friends contend, Bibi never lived up to his original election campaign pledges. Soon after his election the Yishuv was confronted with a new non-Maccabbean Bibi. He made unnecessary concessions – Hebron, the West Bank and the Wye Plantation agreement.
When I realized the new path he had chosen – which was altogether unbiblical, I wrote him a series of letters from the UN reminding him of the underground days and the sacrifices young Israelis made for the Medinah. In one of the letters, I sent him an Israeli Post Office montage showing postage‑size photos of the Israeli hero, Dov Gruner and several of his co‑fighters whom the ruthless. British hanged in the Acco prison. “They gave their lives for the State,” I told him. “Let’s honor them by remaining firm to their convictions not to sacrifice ‘land for peace’.”
He was not the Bibi I admired at the UN during his tour of duty there, where he excelled in his defense of Israel and justice. His colleague, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and he became a good UN team on behalf of Israel.
To his great credit, it must be said that he managed, through skillful maneuvering, to get the UN to kill that vicious anti‑Semitic resolution equating Zionism with racism. He also brought to light from hidden UN archives documents proving that Kurt Waldeim was a Nazi.
And as a good friend at the UN, he would join me and Jewish staff workers, organized as the Judaica Book Club, during Purim and Hanukkah commemorations. He took pride in kindling the candles.
I agree fully with my former UN colleague, Abe Rosenthal who, in a recent column concluded thus:
“I am not at all gloomy about Israel. One good man has been replaced in a way terrifying to every Arab ruler. It’s called election, and for friends of Israel it is powerful anti‑gloom, for all Israel’s years ahead.”
(By David Horowitz, The Jewish Press, June 11, 1999)
THE MOST SACRED BOOK ON EARTH
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. More to be desired are they than gold; yea, than much fine gold, sweeter also than the honey and the honeycomb.” (Psalm 19:7,10)
The Bible has been read by more people, published in more languages and more copies produced than any other book in history. Overall there is absolutely no book that reaches or even begins to compare to the circulation of the Scriptures. It is a Book still loved, read and studied by millions. “Unbelievers for 1800 years have been refuting and trying to overthrow this Book, and yet it stands today as solid as a rock.” (H. L. Hastings)
The Bible is unique in its survival through time, persecution and criticism. Being written on material that perishes (Papyrus paper), copied and recopied for hundreds of years before the invention of the printing press, even this did not diminish its style, correctness nor existence.
The Bible was the first religious book to be taken into outer space (on microfilm), and read aloud by astronauts on the moon.
Both the Old and New Testaments are inspired by God and contain an unbreakable connection. We need to realize that what Christians call the “Old Testament” was Yeshua’s only Bible. He taught only from it. He said, “Scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:35) The Psalms formed a very important background for His ministry. He learned them in His Jewish home and synagogue as a young man. At His Baptism, His earthly mission was stated clearly in Isaiah 41:1. Likewise, on the Cross Psalm 22:1 came to His mind in His last moments on earth.
“Think not that I have come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I have not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17‑18)
(Christian Action for Israel Newsletter, 2nd Quarter 1999)
QUESTIONS OF GENERAL INTEREST
The three following questions are on Consecration by That Servant:
QUESTION ‑ Is it your thought that those consecrating after the door to the High Calling is closed may have a resurrection to the spirit nature?
ANSWER – No, there will be no begetting of the Spirit that we know of after the High Calling is closed; and if there is no begetting of the Spirit then, there will be no birth of the spirit. The only thought we have in connection with that is what we expressed a moment ago, namely; that some might be accepted as of the Ancient Worthy class if they laid down their lives in loyalty to the Lord in that Time of Trouble, and then when the Ancient Worthy class may possibly have the spirit nature given to them at the end of the millennium, such being of that class might have the opportunity to obtain the spirit nature.
QUESTION ‑ Would the consecrated but not begotten ever have the opportunity of getting the spirit nature?
ANSWER – Our thought is that it is part of the Divine Plan to give the Ancient Worthies a change of nature in the end of the Millennial Age, as a reward for their faithfulness, and their service during the Millennial Age – that quite likely they will receive the spirit nature at the end of the Millennial Age. This is partly conjectural and partly built upon certain texts of Scripture which we have already considered in the Watch Tower and which we need not therefore enter into here.
QUESTION ‑ If any consecrated now and failed to be begotten of the Holy Spirit, where would the Lord place them?
ANSWER – We would presume that if they were faithful, as the prophets of old were faithful, to the extent of laying down their lives in the service of righteousness and truth, that God would give them a share some way with the Ancient Worthies. In other words, that if such should pass into the Time of Trouble to a considerable degree, and there lose their lives because of faithfulness to the Lord, that He would do just the same for them that He will do for the Ancient Worthies – they will be counted in with the Ancient Worthy class.
(Question Book, page 152)
QUESTION – Should we consider it necessary to call attention to other prominent dates than 1874, 1878, 1881 or 1914? Should 1911 be included?
ANSWER – I am glad that question is there, my dear brothers and sisters. You will notice that in my own teachings and writings I am careful to avoid any other dates than these. I know nothing about other dates.
In the third volume of Scriptures Studies there is a suggestion, but it is offered only as a suggestion, merely that a certain measurement in the Pyramid (not in the Word of God) looks as though it might point down to 1910 or 1911, but we do not say that it does mean anything, but merely throw out a suggestion. Don’t anticipate, don’t say things are to occur, for we do not know, at least I don’t, and don’t believe anyone else does. My advice is to follow the Apostle when he says, “We speak those things that we know.” Don’t say anything about those things that you do not know. Quite likely you will wish you had not after a while. Nineteen hundred and fourteen is the time when the “Gentile Times” will end. What does that mean? I do not know, but I think it is when God lets go in a general sense of the world, and permits things to take their course; and we can readily suppose, as the Apostle says, that the course of nature would be set on fire, because of strife. In the world of mankind, I shall expect a time of great trouble, which the Bible marks out as having its beginning about October, 1914, but I think, dear friends, that it is more important, instead of telling of the Time of Trouble, to tell about the good things. The poor people who get into the Time of Trouble will have all they want of it then. I have enough now, and so have you. The Scriptures say that through much tribulation shall we enter the Kingdom, and if we pay attention to our duties, we will get enough without taking time to tell them about the Time of Trouble. The world will not be profited by our telling, either. We do not wish to scare anybody. We see the bad effects of this scare religion in times past. While we can tell them that there is a storm coming, we can also tell them that God is going to make that a blessing, and we are glad for the whole world of mankind, that this time of refreshing is near, “Speak of the time of rest that nears.” They have enough tribulation, and I advise not to talk too much about the tribulation.
I think of one brother who had a large lump of imagination, who told his wife all about the Time of Trouble and told it as though he had been there already, telling her what flour would be a barrel at that time, etc., etc., so that his poor wife was almost afraid of the Truth. If he had said, My dear, there is a Time of Trouble coming and those who make the Lord their refuge, He will have a supervising care over them, I think it would have had a better effect. I have very little faith in any kind of scare religion, it does not work well.
Another thing while we are at it. It is not quite in this question, but it is kind of a second cousin to the question. To what extent should the Pilgrims and other brothers preach “Brother Russell”?
I say, not at all. You have plenty, dear friends, to preach and the Apostle says, “We preach Christ.” Brother Russell is very glad if the Lord has used him as a fingerboard to point the right road for your eyes, that you can see wonderful things in the Word of God, but it is not Brother Russell, but it is the Lord that has used him. As you see the finger‑board points out it is so many miles to Jamestown, it is not the finger‑board, but the person that painted and put it there that is to be appreciated. So my advice is that you do not search the Scriptures to find anything about Brother Russell, but that you search to find things about the “glorious One” whom we all reverence. You remember we had already pointed to it 15 years ago and made this statement applicable. You remember that John the Revelator had seen this and that, and other things, and he said he fell at the feet of the angel who showed me these things, saying, “See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.” (Rev. 22:9)
That is the right thought, but there is a tendency in this direction, and a danger to worship the creature, or instrumentality, rather than the Creator who uses the instrumentality. Let us not make that mistake. I do not want any to make that mistake through any inadvertency on my part.
(By That Servant, Sourvenir Notes, Bible Students’ Conventions, 1910, pages 205, 206)