71 elders of Israel who identify themselves as the Sanhedrin gathered Wednesday on Mount Zion in a historic trial bringing to judgement Pope Francis and US President Barack Obama in absentia. The rabbis called the two leaders to trial for crimes leading to the mortal endangerment of Israel and the Jewish nation.
After appointing each of the judges to sit on the nascent Sanhedrin, silver horns, similar to those used in the service of the Jewish Temples, and shofars (rams horns), were blown. The trial was opened with the statement: “Joyous is the nation who hears the shofar. Joyous is the nation who knows that this is their land. When will it be that we hear the shofar of the Messiah?”
The central issue the Sanhedrin focused on during the trial was the changing global tide against Israel and the Jews. Among the various points brought up by each rabbi on the Sanhedrin, the main theme centered on the long trail of diplomacy mislabeled as a peace process, the misguided and dangerous nuclear deal with Iran and recent attempts to appease the world of Israel as it murders Christians in Arab countries.
The strongest charges were made against the Pope, who recently recognized a “State of Palestine” with an official treaty. According to the Sanhedrin, the Pope, who claims to accept the Bible that states clearly that the land of Israel was given to the Jews, has placed the world in grave danger.
It was agreed beforehand that for the trial to be a true judgment, a counsel must be found who would represent the defendants in absentia with a strong belief in his case. Rabbi Yehoshua Hollander, who was until recently the Foreign Minister of the Sanhedrin, acted as counsel for the defense and brought forth compelling arguments that were difficult to refute.
While Hollander agreed that the facts as stated by the Sanhedrin were accurate and irrefutable, he claimed that each of the defendants were innocent nonetheless and offered three factors that would lead the Sanhedrin to withhold judgement from the defendants.
The first case, defense by circumstance, justified the actions of the Pope and Obama in light of ameliorating circumstances. The second case, defense by deflection, attributed part of the guilt to others. The third defense, defense by lack of intent, claimed that there was no criminal intent behind the actions of the two leaders. By Jewish law, lacking of criminal intent exonerates the defendant from the criminal charges but would nevertheless leave the defendant liable for all damages caused by his behavior.
Hollander reasoned that the Pope was faced with massive slaughter of his followers, and therefore his attempts to placate Islam were not directed against the Jewish People. He also diverted some of the guilt from the accused by implicating the Israeli government, who have acknowledged the Palestinian claims, thereby misleading the defendants and being complicit in the crime.
The same can be said about Obama, which Hollander explained, “When he took office, the sanctions were working, albeit not quickly enough. Thus the first defense, defense by circumstance, is not available.”
Hollander did try to justify the president’s actions by claiming that they appears to be based on hope. “I would claim that President Obama had no criminal intent,” he stated. “He said that he believes that by making Iran a member of world Leadership, they would drop their intent of bombing Israel. It is not criminal to hold such a hope.”
In the end, the Sanhedrin did not come out with any specific judgement against the Pope and Obama, rather judgements directed at their policies and actions. Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman and secretary of the Sanhedrin, explained to Breaking Israel News, “It was the decision of the Sanhedrin to declare that it is forbidden for the United States Congress to agree to any process with Iran until they recognize Israel as the Jewish state according to the Holy Bible, based on a history that includes the Temple on Har Moriah in Jerusalem, and they must agree to the removal and disposal of any nuclear weapons in their possession.”
Counsel for the defense, Hollander made clear his motivations behind his passionate defense of Obama and the Pope. “There is a problem in the world today, and rather than separate ourselves, the Jews should be leading and accompanying them in order to help,” he told Breaking Israel News. “We need to be joining together. We can do this because have a long history of going into other countries and coexisting for mutual benefit.”
Rabbi Daniel Stavsky, an elder on the Sanhedrin, told Breaking Israel News following the trial that Israel must learn from the lessons of the Holocaust in order to protect the future of the state and the nation.
“They cannot forget or deny this, so the haters of Israel cannot allow themselves to do this again. Esau is sending Ishmael to kill us in a completion of the Holocaust,” he told Breaking Israel News. “They pray to idols and to death. They talk about human rights, which include the right to a homeland. But they don’t consider Jews to be humans, so we don’t have these rights. It is not just the land, but also the title of the Chosen People that they deny. They are stealing our body and our soul. They are against Israel because they cannot allow us to fulfill the prophecy of returning to the land.”
The next gathering of the Sanhedrin will be October 8, for further investigation into the judgement.