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Monday, May 11, 2009

Pope politely did not call for PalArab state

Even though news headlines are saying otherwise, Pope Benedict did not call for a Palestinian Arab state in his address upon his arrival in Israel.

Ma'an writes:
Speaking at a red carpet welcoming ceremony, the pontiff called for renewed efforts for a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.

"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," said Benedict.

The pope did not make reference to a Palestinian state in his first foray into the Palestinian-Israeli arena.
However, the Vatican is on the record as supporting a Palestinian Arab state. The New York Times notices his word choice and dismisses its significance:
While he did not use the word “state,” he made clear in a brief speech that he was underscoring the Vatican’s previous support for the creation of a Palestinian state, albeit with a stronger resonance imparted by the setting and timing of his remarks within minutes of arriving in Israel.
If Livni was still prime minister, chances are that the Pope would have had no qualms about using the word "state."

Which should be a lesson in diplomacy for Israeli leaders.