a different side of Israel

Tag: Vatican

Some Stories from the World

At the CIA headquarters in Langley, one of the most recently uncovered artifacts in the agency’s private museum is a message from a father to his toddler son. And, get this! The gold-embossed letterhead features a swastika and the name Adolf Hitler.

The letter reads:

“Dear Dennis… The man who might have written on this card once controlled Europe — three short years ago when you were born. Today he is dead, his memory despised, his country in ruins.”

Dennis is the 69-year-old Dennis Helms, intellectual-property barrister in New Jersey. The writer of the letter was his father, Richard Helms, the CIA director during the Vietnam War and Watergate eras, who died in 2002. Directly after Germany’s surrender, Lt. Helms, an intelligence operative, snuck into Hitler’s chancellery in Berlin and filched the Fuehrer’s stationery. He dated the letter “V-E day” for May 8, 1945.

The letter flabbergasted the CIA museum’s curatorial staff when it was first acquired in May. Mainly because it also conveyed a certain historical intuition about the evil which one man could do. The letter happened to arrive at Langley only one day after Osama bin Laden was discovered and shot to death in May.


In other news, the cardinal who helms Vatican relations with Jews found himself in hot water during his very first United States visit in his new position. After a speech on theology and Jewish-Catholic dialogue at Seton Hall University, Swiss Cardinal, Kurt Koch, repeated a comment he made earlier this year in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.
Rabbi Alan Brill, a Seton Hall professor who assisted in organizing Koch’s talk.
Koch wrote that:

“Since the cross of Jesus erases any desire for vengeance and calls everyone to reconciliation, it rises above us as the permanent and universal Yom Kippur.”

Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni of Rome had erstwhile complained that Koch seemed to be indicating that Jews should consider Christian beliefs as definitive.


The Catholic Church has been in a curious light as of late. The world community was like way grossed-out by several salacious sex scandals. The ball started rolling over in Ireland and the Pope began to sweat — not too sweet. Then more was uncovered from under the covers, that is, in: Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and even Brazil, priests and other members of the Roman clergy were accused of molesting youngsters — and, well the rest is really too terrible to tell.
The Vatican
They say that Pope Benedict, while still a German archbishop, knew of such activities but kept them in the dark. There were rumors that he would be forced to step down now that the past has been brought to the light. The likelihood of that is not good.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is something of a hero – he is to me anyway. His Website calls him, “America’s Rabbi“, and I wonder if that is not untrue, a kind of post-Lubavitch religious hipster with clout and growing at that, minus one red string on wrist – thank God. You had to love his show, Shalom in the Home, on The Learning Channel.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
He debates everybody! He debated Christopher Hitches at the 92nd street Y in Manhattan about the existence of God, and sounded like a brilliant post-enlightenment, science age Theologian – an Orthodox rabbi steeped in all kinds of philosophical and scientific fact – cold hard facts. Yes we checked out the Taliban and the current state of extreme Islam, we’ve read Darwin, Einstein and that other loud-mouth Briton with all of the books and documentaries – what’s his name? No we won’t stop believing in God, as Americans, Jews and human beings! And have you reduced your carbon footprint today?

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach knows that Pope Benedict has an ambiguous stance about Jews. The one-step forward, two-step back kind of post-Holocaust Pope. Pro-life and pro environmental reform who was photographed last week dozing off in the middle of Mass. God bless him.

So Boteach’s reaction to the Pope, now sweating in embarrassment over the sex scandal, who brought back to Catholic liturgy a call for Jews to save themselves by converting to the religion of the cross – the old one, the Roman one – has gone to console the panicky Vicar in the Vatican. The Vicar who quietly protests on behalf of Palestinians but kisses Kotels and visits Manhattan synagogues – and who knows what happened to the Jews of Italy during the Second World War? Anyone?

Boteach’s suggestion was that the church – in all of its glory – promote family Shabbat dinners on Friday nights, similar to the Jewish custom. Rabbi Shmuley claimed it would be a good way for the church to re-establish its pro-family image. This initiative, said Boteach, would help the church demonstrate that it is not only concerned with opposing same-sex marriages and abortions – other issues which have found it further damned by disagreers and offendees – (?) and they who hate their family (?)

No real response was received on the matter.

After meeting with the Pope Boteach received an invitation to have lunch with Cardinal Walter Kasper, who is responsible for the Vatican’s relations with Jewry.
During this meeting the rabbi harshly criticized the church for covering-up the sex abuse scandals – surprising, that’s all he could think of criticizing the Vatican for?

Nazi’s Infiltrated the Vatican

Nazi SoldiersBritish intelligence, on Monday, revealed that during World War II, Nazi Germany planned to infiltrate the Catholic Church, with the use of spies dressed up as monks. A Nazi sympathizer residing in Rome formulated the plan in 1943 and had won the support of the Third Reich. Senior Nazi officials saw it as a way to follow the Allied Forces on their way to conquer Italy.

Operation Georgian Convent consisted of the purchase of a building in Rome by Michael Kedia, a Russian anti-communist Nazi sympathizer from Georgia.
The plan (involved the)…”set up of a Georgian cloister in Rome under Vatican protection and among the monks introduce agents who were to keep contact with German intelligence,” the MI5 report says.

The operation was thwarted by Giuseppe Dosi, an Italian policeman who was acting as an informant to the British intelligence service. Dosi wrote to agents in London that the Nazis planned to set up two rooms “for the use of the agents for storage of transmitters, batteries and any other secret material.”

The Nazis believed that dressing up the spies as monks would be the perfect cover due to the Vatican’s neutrality during the war. Vatican officials became suspicious because of the agents’ ignorance of Catholic doctrine and observed interest in women. Later the Vatican received confirmation of their suspicions by an anonymous warning sent by British intelligence. The agents were subsequently sent back to Germany and the Vatican complained to Berlin’s ambassador.

The operation was the second to be revealed by the MI5 after when last week it disclosed that the Nazis also planned to infiltrate the Boy Scouts in order to gain the support of its founder.

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