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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wall balls auf Deutsch

It's bad enough when a C of E bishop likens the Israeli security barrier to the Berlin Wall, but at least you can put it down to ignorance. That becomes harder when the parallel is drawn by a group of German bishops, one of them a cardinal. And when their appetite for dodgy historical analogies proves so insatiable that they can't even resist the 'Israelis are Nazis' one, things start to look very worrying indeed.

Read more here and here (the latter with some comments from yours truly, including an evaluation of the Pope's address at Auschwitz last year).

Thank goodness, the Nazi analogy has been pointedly repudiated by Cardinal Lehmann, Chairman of the German Bishops' Conference (in German here).

Cardinal Meisner used to be Bishop of the divided city of Berlin, so he knows perfectly well that the Berlin Wall was never meant to defend anyone or anything other than the communist elite and their bankrupt system. So the force of his analogy is clearly to imply that the Israeli barrier is equally irrelevant to genuine security considerations. Even Baroness Tonge knows better than that - it keeps terrorists out, 'forcing' them to go and do their stuff in Iraq instead.

There's been one suicide bombing in Israel so far this year, claiming three lives in Eilat (it would have been many more but for the presence of mind of the motorist who unwittingly gave the bomber a lift). Eilat is on the border with Jordan. There is no barrier between Israel and Jordan.

If building a wall were a practicable way of preventing things like this from happening, could Cardinal Meisner or anyone else seriously doubt that it would be morally justified?

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