Time magazine's person of the year for 2013 is the new Pope Francis, a refreshing and deserving choice.
Among the notable achievements of his brief papacy, however, is one that got precious little American ink. While he had met days earlier with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Oct. 23, he refused to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a snub heard around the world.
Could it be that he recognizes the hysteria of Netanyahu's saber-rattling insistence that the U.S. bomb both Iran and Syria, or that he remembers the creation of Israel in 1948, accompanied the forcible eviction of 800,000 Palestinian Arabs from their homes, land and olive groves and the subsequent destruction of over 500 of their villages, that even today, Israel thumbs its nose at the world community as it flaunts international law, expanding illegal settlements into the West Bank and East Jerusalem, building hundreds of miles of apartheid-creating concrete walls to isolate themselves from the Palestinians whose land they've stolen?
Ex-CIA agent and now professor, Michael Scheuer, testifying before Congress, said that fighting Israel's wars is bankrupting this country. "I'd dump the Israelis tomorrow," he explained as congressmen squirmed in their seats.
The irony is that when Netanyahu spoke to Congress, he received 28 standing ovations. I keep wondering when our sychophantic elected representatives, who daily show Israel with $11 million of our tax money, will find the courage to defy the army of pro-Israel lobbyists and admit to the rest of the world, and to Pope Francis, that turning your back on this rogue nation is the right thing to do.
M. Jensen Ogden