Israel’s Netanyahu and Pope Francis exchange gifts, talk policy

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?

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