Monday, September 21, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI to visit Rome's synagogue in the fall

In a telegram to mark the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, Pope Benedict XVI conveyed his greetings and informed the Chief Rabbi of Rome that he intends to visit Rome's synagogue this fall.

According to Zenit News, it will be the third synagogue that he will visit in his pontificate, after the synagogues of Cologne, Germany, in Aug. 2005, and of Park East in New York, in April 2008 -- and will occur 23 years after Pope John Paul II's historic visit there on April 13, 1986, "the first time that a Pope entered a Jewish place of worship since St. Peter."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Imagine that.

In other news, Human Rights Watch's Marc Garlasco, the point man for the organization's monitoring and criticism of Israel, turns out to have a fanatical obsession with ... Nazi memorabilia.

Meanwhile -- HT: Volokh Conspiracy -- NGO Monitor has published a systematic analysis of HRW entitled "Experts or Ideologues?":

NGO Monitor's detailed report examines HRW's activities related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and particularly on Israel -- including analysis of key HRW staff members, five case studies of HRW campaigns, and quantitative analysis comparing HRW publications in the Middle East, covering the period from 2002 to 2009.

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Harmless coincidence or something rotten within the organization? -- Reading on, we learn that the deputy director of HRW's Middle East section, Joe Stork, once praised the murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972 as an "achievement." And this same individual attended a conference on "Zionism and Racism" in Saddam Hussein's Iraq:
There he made a presentation that lamented the "devastating defeat" of the Six Day War, which he attributed to "imperialist collusion that lay behind the Israeli blitzkrieg." A decade later, Stork was still railing against "the pernicious influence of the Zionist lobby." It was Stork's boss, Sarah Leah Whitson, who went to Saudi Arabia to tout HRW's battles with "pro-Israel pressure groups.
For details, see: