The Pope arrived in Israel today and the government held a formal welcome to Israel ceremony for him at the airport. But unlike a similar ceremony held to greet US President Barack Obama, who was welcomed at the airport by every single cabinet minister in March 2013, Pope Francis was greeted by far less than half of the sitting cabinet – and none of them were from the Zionist Orthodox HaBayit HaYehudi Party, which appeared to be boycotting the event.
On Arrival In Israel, Pope Gets Lackluster Greeting From Israel’s Government
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The Pope arrived in Israel today and the government held a formal welcome to Israel ceremony for him at the airport, the Jerusalem Post reported.
But unlike a similar ceremony held to greet US President Barack Obama, who was welcomed at the airport by every single cabinet minister in March 2013, Pope Francis was greeted by far less than half of the sitting cabinet.
Some cabinet ministers claimed to be sick and didn’t come to the event. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is apparently out of the country. Finance Minister Yair Lapid didn’t show up because he claimed to have meetings in the Treasury. Religious Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett was reportedly busy with "ministry business" at the Economy and Trade Ministry, which he also heads.
Not one cabinet minister from Bennett’s Zionist Orthodox HaBayit HaYehudi Party showed up at the ceremony.
"Bennett will meet the pope Monday with the two chief rabbis at the Jerusalem Rabbinate headquarters for an hour and show him the proper respect [then],” a source close to Bennett told the Jerusalem Post. MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, Bennett's deputy minister and second in command, will reportedly join him at that meeting – barring a sudden outbreak of an anti-Catholic virus.
Besides being the Religious Affairs minister and the Economy and Trade minister, Bennett is also Israel’s Minister for Diaspora Affairs. Diaspora communities value their good and improving relationships with the Vatican, which has taken many steps to try to eliminate anti-Semitism and discrimination over the previous five decades, including ending all Church attempts to specifically convert Jews.
The Church has also accepted responsibility and apologized for the wrongs the Church was responsible for in previous centuries.
However, the Church is too dovish for most of Israel’s current ruling coalition, and the Church’s support for human rights and the peace process causes Israel’s right and center right to view the pope with suspicion and even hostility. Many Israelis, including some cabinet ministers, are also ignorant of the changes the Church has made over the past half century or are dismissive of them.