07/30/2005, 00.00

An Israeli official is in Washington to repair the Israeli – Holy See crisis

Arieh Cohen

Tel Aviv (AsiaNews) - AsiaNews has learnt from the Israeli Government sources that a Foreign Ministry official is being dispatched in haste to Washington DC, to try to repair some of the damage caused to Israel's image and relations with US Catholics by the Foreign Ministry's withdrawal from negotiations with the Holy See, and savage verbal attacks on Pope Benedict XVI and on the memory of Pope John Paul II. The official is, however, a certain Nimrod Barkan who had earlier been publicly identified as the man behind the attacks on the Pope. This confirms that the intended audience of the entire crisis manufactured by Mr Barkan was precisely Washington, thus the need to explain the Ministry's failure to abide by the promises to advance the negotiations with the Holy See. But it also raises a serious question as to the wisdom of selecting precisely Mr Barkan for this mission.

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