The Awful Disclosures of Avraham Sinai

Strange news in Haaretz:

The Pope and the cardinals of the Vatican help organize tours of Auschwitz for Hezbollah members to teach them how to wipe out Jews, according to a booklet being distributed to Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

Officials encouraging the booklet’s distribution include senior officers, such as Lt. Col. Tamir Shalom, the commander of the Nahshon Battalion of the Kfir Brigade. The booklet was published by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, in cooperation with the chief rabbi of Safed, Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu, and has been distributed for the past few months.

The booklet, titled “On Either Side of the Border,” purports to be the testimony of “a Hezbollah officer who spied for Israel…The story is narrated by a man named Avi, who says he changed his name from Ibrahim after he left Hezbollah and converted to Judaism.”

According to the book, Nasrallah was invited to join a delegation to tour France, Poland and Italy, including the Vatican. Nasrallah could not refuse an invitation from the Vatican, Avi explained: “We knew [the Pope] identified with Hezbollah’s struggle.”

The book describes the alleged visit of Hezbollah officials to Auschwitz, led by the Vatican: “We came to the camps. We saw the trains, the platforms, the piles of eyeglasses and clothes … We came to learn … Our escort spoke as he was taught. We quickly explained to him: Every real Arab, deep inside, is kind of a fan of the Nazis.”

Failed Messiah notes that one version of the story appeared in English on Vos Iz Neias in May, derived from an ultra-Orthodox publication; this source does not mention the trip to Auschwitz, but it does tell us that Avi

was in a group of high-ranking Hizbollah leaders who had just returned from a meeting with the Vatican at the request of the Pope.( At the meeting, the Pope had encouraged their operations against Israel.)

A reader at Tikun Olam cross-references the story of Avi with a 2006 report in Y-Net about a certain Avraham Sinai:

Only the pita bread and the labeneh hint at the past of this ultra-Orthodox family from Safed, at its former life in Lebanon in the shadow of the Israel-Hizbullah war. Sinai has published a book about his road from Lebanon to Judaism, A Martyr from Lebanon: Life in the Shadow of Danger.

…After fulfilling his dream and moving to Safed, Sinai decided that the time had come to convert to Judaism. “I told my wife that after all these things I’d gone through in Lebanon, I’d reached the conclusion that the truth is in Judaism.” A senior officer introduced him to Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, who began the conversion process with him.

Sinai moved to Safed in 1997, and Hezbollah did not come into existence until the 1980s, so the pope who arranged the visit must have been John Paul II. Here’s what the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America wrote in 2005, when John Paul died:

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America notes with great sadness the passing of Pope John Paul II.  The historic and landmark contributions that he made to Catholic-Jewish relations were pioneering and invaluable….Pope John Paul II was the first pope to visit a synagogue, in April of 1986, as he visited the Orthodox Synagogue in Rome.  The Jewish community had long called for diplomatic relations between Israel and the Holy See and in 1993-1994 Pope John Paul II announced formalization of these relations.  He made constant references to the memory of the Shoah (the Holocaust) and called the twentieth century “The century of the Shoah,” so that the tragedy will never be repeated again.  The Pope’ visceral reaction to the Holocaust was made evident by his visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial, in Israel.  Moreover, he was the first Pope to visit the President of Israel at his residence and the Chief Rabbis of Israel at the Rabbinate.

The IDF is not the only army where religious extremists have been seeking to spread paranoia: in the USA, military chaplains have had a free hand to promote “New World Order” conspiracy theories, including the claim that globalists are seeking to destroy “the racial order”.

(Hat tips: Tikun Olam and Jews Sans Frontieres)

4 Responses

  1. Always nice to see a Maria Monk reference.

  2. Richard, This is very interesting. I have to mull over the “cui bono” aspect.

    One thought – this demonizes both Catholics and Palestinians, in Jewish eyes, thus reinforcing a bunker mentality. And, some evangelical Christians might find that to be a desirable outcome.

    Just informed speculation on my part. I might be off base. Time will tell.

  3. […] the interfaces between extremist religion and racism, and the real and media worlds. This week he had a rather scary piece on Jewish extremism in the IDF. He is an equal opportunities critic of fundamentalisms, although normally there is more Muslim and […]

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