Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The conspiracy of silence

I quoted Ellen Horowitz yesterday when discussing Israeli policy. Today she has a new opinion piece out that discusses the near-silence of the mainstream media in Israel on the issue of the Upper Room exchange and recapitulates her opposition to it.

It may not have been considered earthshaking news. But I would have thought that the announcement of a possible agreement over the control of a Jerusalem holy site, emanating from a respected Vatican media source and appearing in the London Times, would have certainly warranted an article in Israel's mainstream Hebrew and English press.

While there have been a wealth of columns ushering in a new and brilliant era of Catholic-Jewish dialogue here in Israel, there has hardly been a footnote addressing the price Israel may have to pay for the dramatic upgrade in relations.

The news of a possible deal between the Vatican and Israel - which would hand the Catholic Church control over portions of a building on Mt. Zion that just happens to house King David's Tomb and the Diaspora Yeshiva, in exchange for a former synagogue building in Toledo, Spain - first appeared in the international press on October 12th. A full week later, the item continued making the rounds in various respected publications, but still no word from Israel's mainstream media. There were no confirmations or denials from our diplomats and government officials, nor were there any retractions from the news agencies that broke or reported the original story.

Meanwhile, a lot of us who had already read the draft agreement, viewed the maps and had heard audio clip interviews, via "lesser" news agencies and sources, began to question our sanity.

I'm not crazy. This is newsworthy, right?

Read the complete article Follow the Papal Paper Trail from Israeli National

Near the end of her piece, she related her comments to a group of evangelical Christians visiting northern Israel:

Two weeks ago, I addressed a group of evangelical Christians who were visiting the north of Israel after having attended their annual "Feast of the Tabernacles". I explained to these very fine people that my caution in approaching the Christian community didn't stem from hatred, historical scars or from anti-Semitic paranoia. My discretion is directly connected to my passionate love for and commitment to the Land of Israel. I compared this passion to a protective and maternal love, and I used our matriarchs, patriarchs and prophets to drive home my point. The concept was well accepted by the listeners (and it didn't hurt my sales, either).

Personally, while I think the Catholic Church taking up ownership of the Upper Room would be nice, letting it go and just giving the Jews the synagogue/church in Toledo as a free-will offering would be much better and a true example of Christian charity.

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