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Aides defend Pope from charges of false equivalence on Gaza war

 A group of Italian Rabbis and other prominent Jewish leaders have struck back against Pope Francis’s referral Wednesday to the ongoing war in Gaza as “terrorism,” asserting that he’s falsely equating the aggressors with the victims, while the pope’s aides insist he’s not “overlooking” the Hamas attack that launched the conflict.

In a statement following the pope’s latest remarks Wednesday, Noemi Di Segni, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, said, “The pope puts everyone on the same level of departure and arrival. But the departure is the terror that carries out the plan of extermination of Jews throughout the whole world.”

The war in Gaza, she said, “is necessary for the defense of Israel and its population. It involves suffering but the victims must be associated with those who are truly responsible.”

Similarly, a statement from the Council of the Assembly of Rabbis in Italy said the pope’s remarks put “innocent people torn from their families on the same level as people detained often for very serious acts of terrorism.”

“Immediately afterwards the pope publicly accused both sides of terrorism,” they said, saying, “These positions taken at the highest level follow problematic statements by illustrious exponents of the Church in which either there is no trace of condemnation of Hamas’s aggression, or, in the name of supposed impartiality, they place the aggressor and the aggrieved on the same level.”

Pope Francis Wednesday held meetings with both a delegation of 12 relatives of Israeli hostages taken by Hamas during their Oct. 7 surprise offensive on Israel, during which 1,400 were killed and 240 abducted, and 10 relatives of Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

In his remarks during his general audience that day, Francis referred to his meetings with both delegations, saying people on both sides “suffer a lot, and I heard how both of them suffer: Wars do this, but here we have gone beyond wars, this is not waging war, this is terrorism.”

 

2023-11-29T08:10:19+00:00 November 29th, 2023|Categories: News|