Lo telech rachil b'ameicha... ('do not go as a talebearer among your companions' - Vayikra (Leviticus), Parshas Kedoshim, Possuk (verse) 19:16).
Cardinal Karl Lehmann, head of the German Bishops Conference, grudgingly conceded that some remarks made by German churchmen visiting the holy land were inappropriate.
[Big whoopee - now rejoice, y'all.]
Nevertheless, he still slams Israel from behind by calling the security barrier 'a painful reality', and excusing the comments by some of the participants by saying that they did not mean that Israel has no right to defend itself.
[Here's the article in Ha'aretz:
I am not favourably impressed.
The damage has already been done.
This is like a newsrag making a deliberately evil report, and then several days later publishing a retraction somewhere between the illustrated underwear ads and the obits.
Front page: "Senator Fooferaw Gropes Pages"
Page 38 retraction ten days later: "When we wrote ten days ago that Senator Fooferaw groped pages, we inadvertently left out that he has hooks instead of hands due to a war injury, and the pages were in Jeremaiah and Samuel, not named Jerry and Samuel."
The statements by the German bishops will be quoted and referenced for years to come, and will no doubt be inventively elaborated upon. Cardinal Lehmann's anaemic attempt at mollification will only be quoted when it becomes necessary to demonstrate how temperate and humane critics of Israel have been - in other words, it, too, will be a cudgel.