The world was watching as Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Israel today. Under fire for reinstating a bishop who continues to deny the scope of the Holocaust, Benedict put Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial at the top of his itinerary. “May the names of the victims never perish and may their suffering never be denied, belittled or forgotten,” he said.
Upon arriving at Ben Gurion Airport, the pontiff had committed to fighting the global rise in anti-Semitism to to supporting an independent Palestinian state. JTA reports:
“Sadly, anti-Semitism continues to rear its ugly head in many parts of the world. This is totally unacceptable,“ he said. “Every effort must be made to combat anti-Semitism wherever it is found, and to promote respect and esteem for the members of every people, tribe, language and nation across the globe.“
The pope then switched his attention to achieving peace between Palestinians and Israel.
“In union with people of good will everywhere, I plead with all those responsible to explore every possible avenue in the search for a just resolution of the outstanding difficulties, so that both peoples may live in peace in a homeland of their own, within secure and internationally recognized borders,“ he said.