The lead article in today’s New York Times, “Pope, in Mideast, Invites Leaders to Meet on Peace,” once again demonstrates the phenomenal ability of Pope Francis to serve as a source of goodness, and a refusal to let his light be buried under a bushel. The Pope is unaffected by any worldly limitations and has served as a prominent voice on the world stage in many other ways as well, speaking out for the vulnerable and the victims.
His invitation to Shimon Peres instead of Benjamin Netanyahu to meet at the Vatican with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, represents a pointed display of the reality of the peace process and the seeming unwillingness of Netanyahu to take risks for peace.
Meanwhile, the passage of time is making it more and more unlikely for the peace process to be consummated. The Palestinian’s can only wait so long as Israel continues to build settlements and tries to change the reality on the ground. The real tragedy, however, is that Israel may make it impossible to be both democratic and a Jewish state as the Palestinian population continues to grow both in the West Bank and in the rest of Israel.
Then, the only alternative would involve stripping Israeli Arabs of their right to vote if the country wishes to retain its Jewish majority.