But my patience is waning.
In a recent speech, Pope Benedict specifically condemned terrorist attacks in Britain, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt, neglecting the terror attacks against Israel in Netanya (not that it should matter, but Netanya is not in the West Bank or Gaza Strip). The omission was bad enough--the Holy See has enough credibility problems with Jews that it doesn't need to make things worse by refusing to condemn murder.
But the incredibly, the reason given for Israel's omission was even worse than the omission itself. Namely:
It's not always possible to immediately follow every attack against Israel with a public statement of condemnation," a statement from the Vatican press office said Thursday night, "and (that is) for various reasons, among them the fact that the attacks against Israel sometimes were followed by immediate Israeli reactions not always compatible with the rules of international law."
"It would thus be impossible to condemn the first (the terror strikes) and let the second (Israeli retaliation) pass in silence," said the statement, which had an unusually blistering tone for the Holy See.
I concur wholeheartedly with the reaction of Andrew Sullivan's guest-blogger:
Just so I understand, the reactions of Egypt, Britain, Iraq and Turkey to terror attacks have always been compatible with the rules of international law ?! Therefore, terror attacks against innocents living in those countries are wrong. Terror attacks targeting citizens living in countries with imperfect records are not. I am wordless.
As am I. The Pope cannot get away with the murderous equivilancy of suicide bombings and legitimate self-defense and expect to have any credibility in the Jewish community. Israel may or may not be right in the particulars of how it responds to terror. But it certainly possible to condemn suicide bombings that deliberately target innocents without feeling compelled to condemn actions designed to deter these murders.