Bishop Hanke expressed courage

The Catholic Review is to be commended for its continuous coverage of the abject plight of the Palestinians, both Christian and Muslim.

The article “Jews react strongly to bishop remarks,” (CR, March 15) concerns the attack by the Central Council of Jews in Germany on Bishop Gregor Hanke of Eichstaett because he mentioned the deplorable Warsaw Ghetto in the same sentence as the deplorable Ramallah ghetto in Palestine. The bishop represented great insensitivity, according to a representative of the Central Council, by mentioning, though not comparing, the plight of Jews in World War II with the plight of Palestinians today.

I think Bishop Hanke knew full well what the Council’s response to his remarks would be, and I suspect he was trying to soften that response by expressing his great sympathy for what happened to the Jews in Warsaw.

What Bishop Hanke experienced was the tactic used when Israel is criticized for its deplorable and degrading treatment of the Palestinians. Like other messengers of truth about Palestine, he was accused of anti-Semitism. I applaud the bishop for his courage. I think if more people who are aware of what is happening to the Palestinians speak out, the chances for peace and justice will be far, far greater.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.