The Gaza war has changed many things and relations between the Vatican and Israel They have become complicated. The last protagonist is the Israeli ambassador accredited to the Holy See, Raphel Sholz, a few days after an audience with the Pope.
The cause: according to the diplomat, the Egyptian sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb, a close friend of Francis, with whom five years ago he signed a document on the Brotherhood that has brought Sunni Muslims closer to the Pope of the Vatican, has published a “terribly anti-Semitic” statement.
The Israeli ambassador made reference to the long letter that Francis sent to the Imam of Cairo, Al Tayyeb for the fifth anniversary of the document of the Brotherhood between Catholics and Muslims, which has been widely disseminated in the majority Sunni Muslim world.
In his message sent this Monday, Francis praised the spirit of dialogue and friendship, which he considers reciprocal between both religious leaders “and which continues to bear fruit while in many parts of the world the effects of an absence of fraternal solidarity produce environmental destruction and degradation.” social”.
In his text, the Argentine Pope also considers it essential to draw attention to the principles that can guide humanity “through the shadows of injustice, hatred and war.”
Pope Francis, with the imam of Egypt, Ahmed al Tayeb in an image from 2019. Photo: AFP
The Israeli ambassador noted to the pontiff that “the lack of criticism of the attitude expressed by the Imam regarding the events that took place in Gaza after the October 7 massacre against the Israelis with more than 1,200 dead and a number of hostages taken to Gaza that led Israel to war against Hamas.”
In that circumstance, the ambassador recalled, Al Tyyen praised “the Palestinian resistance and the people of Gaza, who are facing the ruthless Israeli aggression against them.”
It must be remembered that Pope Francis sent an open letter to the Jews of Israel to remember that Anti-Semitism “is a sin in the eyes of God” and to emphasize that in his “heart the Jews have a special place, along with the Palestinians.”
In November, a letter signed by more than 400 rabbis and scholars of the Jewish religion from around the world asked the Pope for “a word of closeness” to the Hebrew people. The response, which arrived several days later, was highly appreciated by the American Jewish Committee.
“It is important that in the message the Pope has faced the explosion of anti-Semitism, condemning it as a sin,” he noted.
In a statement, Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai defined Israel's war with Gaza as “a genocide.”
In a speech in Tire, southern Lebanon, the cardinal said that Israel was “the enemy army.”