I keep hoping this is some kind of spoof, but it appears on Haaretz.com, a mainstream Israeli media source. Will Ashton Kutcher spring out and announce that Saint Louis Catholic got punk'd?
Because if this is real, this is so repugnant. Perhaps the Vatican will keep this in mind when deciding which prayers are said in a Catholic Mass, or which persons are or are not subject to ecclesiastical discipline.
This is a joke, right?
Vatican teaching Hezbollah how to kill Jews, says pamphlet for IDF troops
By Ofri Ilani
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 book is distributed regularly and everyone reads it and believes it," said one soldier. "It's filled with made-up details but is presented as a true story. A whole company of soldiers, adults, told me: 'Read this and you'll understand who the Arabs are.'"
The copy obtained by Haaretz included a Pesach greeting from Shalom, "in the name of the Nahshon Brigade."
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. Avi says he was once close to Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, and describes Hezbollah's purported close relationships with the Vatican and European leaders.
The IDF Spokesman's Office said in a statement: "The book was received as a donation and distributed in good faith to the soldiers. After we were alerted to the sensitivity of its content, distribution was immediately halted."
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."
Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu, the son of former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, is known for his extremist views, and was once charged with incitement to racism after calling for the expulsion of all Arab students from Safed College after a terror attack in the area.
David Menahemov, an aide to Eliahu, claims the book is not fiction. "Avi is a real person and everything in the book is absolutely true," insists Menahemov. "It's a totally true story, I know the guy personaly. He's an Arab, who even though he converted still acts like an Arab. We helped him to write and to translate it. We changed a few details to protect him and his family."