Just as a jumping off point for my inane comments, I will use the Los Angeles Times report Israel’s Netanyahu and Pope Francis exchange gifts, talk policy.
Netanyahu presented the pontiff with a Spanish translation of “The Origins of the Inquisition,” a book written by the Israeli leader’s late father, Ben-Zion Netanyahu, an acclaimed historian known widely for his research on the topic. “To his Holiness Pope Franciscus, a great shepherd of our common heritage,” Netanyahu inscribed on the inside cover.
Francis thanked Netanyahu and gave him a bronze plaque of St. Paul.
I am sure there is more to the story of the gifts, and it probably makes sense, but…
When I first read of this story, I thought surely Netanyahu must either be autistic or at least have Asperger’s syndrome. Why else would Netanyahu have a diplomatic mission to the Vatican and choose this particular present? Maybe there is a “rub their nose in it” theory of diplomacy that I had not heard of before.
Maybe Pope Francis had two gifts he could have chosen to give Netanyahu. When he saw what Netanyahu gave him, he decided to give a Catholic religious symbol to the Jewish Prime Minister. What is the equivalent in Spanish of touché?