German Bishops Compare Palestinians to Jews in Warsaw Ghetto

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A pilgrimage to Israel by 27 Roman Catholic bishops from Germany last week was meant to be a historic symbol of reconciliation between Jews and German Catholics.

Instead, after two bishops drew a link between the plight of Palestinians in the West Bank and Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II, it has become a fresh source of recrimination.

Jewish groups in Germany and Israel’s ambassador to Germany condemned their comments, which were reported in newspapers here, saying they were demagogic and “verging on anti-Semitism.”

“If one uses terms like Warsaw Ghetto or racism in connection with Israeli or Palestinian politics, then one has forgotten everything, or learned nothing,” the Israeli ambassador, Shimon Stein, said in a statement this week.

The Warsaw Ghetto, established by the Nazis in 1940, was used as a holding pen for Polish Jews before they were sent to concentration camps. It has come to epitomize the barbarity of the Holocaust.

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