[140. Holocaust as a tool

Catholic New York of February 9 reported that "members of the American Jewish Committee governing board asked Pope John Paul ... to issue an encyclical condemning all forms of anti-Semitism." The Jewish-Christian dialogue seems to be more and more evolving around the "victims-status" that the Jews want to maintain, ignoring that the Jews of Israel are victimizing another people in Palestine. It is the duty of Christians whenever the subject of the Holocaust is raised, during their dialogue with their Jewish counterparts, to remind them of the ethnocide being perpetrated by their co-religionists against the Palestinians. Otherwise, as the Jewish theologian, Marc Ellis, put it, "The dialogue is frozen in historic images: both Jews and Christians are seen as emerging from the Holocaust, hence Christian complicity, Jewish innocence. In this frame-work the Palestinian people do not exist."

The prospective encyclical, if there is one, should not be limited to the holocaust. It should deal with the oppression of men to men throughout history. If the Christians involved in the Jewish-Christian dialogue are serious they have to inform themselves about the situation of the Palestinians, especially Palestinian Christians who kept a Christian presence in the land of Christ uninterrupted for the last two thousand years. This presence is threatened today by an Israel that wants to transform the Christian presence into a Christian museum.

February 16, 1995]