“[We should] tell the youth in Israel that Christianity has changed its character? This is an inexcusable injustice. Christianity has been hostile to Jews forever. Millions of Jews were slaughtered by Christians and one cannot say the attitude has changed. Merely 65 years ago the pope opposed the creation of the state because they claim Christianity replaces Judaism and the State of Israel contradicts the Christian faith."
Above: Rabbi Yaakov Ariel
Leading Zionist Orthodox Rabbis Attack Catholic Church, Christianity, Ahead Of Papal Visit
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Pope Francis is due to arrive in Israel in about two weeks, and with the Papal visit looming Israel’s Ministry of Education has decided to have public schools teach a curriculum called “Exposing students to the lights, not only to the shadows, with regard to relations between the Christian world and Jews.”
This move to note some of the high points in Jewish-Christian relations drew the immediate objections of leading right wing Zionist Orthodox rabbis, Yeshiva World reported, who view Christianity and Christians as evil.
Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan Rabbi Yaakov Ariel attacked the idea that Christianity had changed from an evil force to a good force with regard to the Jewish people and Israel.
“[Do you want us] to tell the youth in Israel that Christianity has changed its character? This is an inexcusable injustice. Christianity has been hostile to Jews forever. Millions of Jews were slaughtered by Christians and one cannot say the attitude has changed. Merely 65 years ago the pope opposed the creation of the state because they claim Christianity replaces Judaism and the State of Israel contradicts the Christian faith,” Ariel said, ignoring the changes in the Church since Vatican 2 in the early 1960s and various philo-semitic papal decrees since then, including one that bans proselytizing Jews.
The Knesset’s Education Committee added the positive coverage of the modern Church into the school curriculum in part because it wanted to commemorate 50 years since the death of Angelo Roncalli, better known to the world as Pope John XXIII.
Before becoming pope, Roncalli was the Turkish Papal Nuncio. He arranged for the transfer of thousands of children from Bulgaria to Palestine. He also warned Pope Pius XII about concentration camps in the area under the control of Romania. In response, Pope Pius protested to the Romanian government and also reportedly authorized money to be sent to the camps.
The government’s choice to commemorate Roncalli by teaching the new curriculum also drew Ariel’s ire.
“The Christian theology remains anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli. Christianity cannot recognize the return of the Jewish People to its land. For this contradicts their thesis. According to them, the People of Israel suffers because it did not accept the man [Jesus, as messiah]. This confusion being presented to the children is very dangerous for children must be taught of the dangers of missionaries. Christians believe that one day will convert and we must stop the Education Committee and its deviant plan,” Ariel said, again failing to note that the Church banned attempts to convert Jews years ago and has kept to that promise ever since.
Another right wing Zionist Orthodox rabbi, Shlomo Aviner, also attacked the effort to commemorate Roncalli despite the lives he saved.
Aviner said it is nice and even comforting for Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum, to declare Roncalli a righteous gentile. But, Aviner insisted, Roncalli’s positive actions during the Holocaust were his own and were not done not in the name of the Church. Roncalli did what he did because he is a human being and not because he is a Christian, Aviner said.
“Christianity is not our friend but [is instead] ontological and hostile. Catholicism wants us to disappear from the face of the earth when that time comes and therefore we recommend to reduce studies [on Catholicism] and increase studies in Judaism, not to seek poisoned bread [Christianity] but rather to commit to keeping the Torah which was given to us by Moses in front of the Children of Israel,” Aviner said.
Pope Francis has been one of the most philo-Semitic popes in Church history.
Ariel's and Aviner's remarks come during the middle of a wave of anti-Christian hate crimes that have seen churches and monestaries defaced and arsoned, allegedly by young West Bank Jewish settlers and their supporters a spart of a larger wave of price tag hate crimes against Arabs and non-Jews.
Although each condemned the Church and Christianity, neither rabbi condemned those anti-Christian hate crimes.