Jewish groups ask for clarification after Pope appears to accuse Israel of ‘terrorism’

Vatican asked to clarify comments in which Pope appeared to call Israel’s war on Hamas ‘terrorism.’

World Israel News Staff

Jewish organizations are demanding answers from the Vatican, after Pope Francis appeared to accuse Israel of “terrorism” in its military response to the invasion and subsequent massacres by Hamas last month.

Speaking in Vatican City November 22, Pope Francis opined about Israel’s retaliation following the unprovoked murderous attack by Hamas on Israeli civilians October 7.

The Roman Catholic world leader, who has frequently called for an Israeli ceasefire in Gaza, said: “Here we’ve gone beyond war. This isn’t war anymore, this is terrorism.”

The backlash by Jewish groups over the Pope’s statement was immediate.

The American Jewish Committee reacted with a response posted on X, urging the Vatican to “clarify” the Pope’s comments.

Hamas’ butchering and kidnapping of civilians is terrorism. Israel’s self-defense is not. Vatican, please clarify.”

The Assembly of Italian Rabbis said that the Pope “publicly accused both parties of terrorism.”

They said that the Pope’s “problematic statements” included “no trace of condemnation of Hamas aggression…in the name of supposed impartiality, they equate aggressor and aggressed.”

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Raphael Schutz, Israel’s Ambassador to the Vatican pushed back on the Pope’s comments, saying: “There is a simple distinction: one side is murdering, raping, and does not care about those on their own side. The other side is engaged in a war of self-defense.”

Noemi Di Segni, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Italy, wanted Pope Francis to issue a clear condemnation of the Hamas terror attack.

“Certainly, we cannot equate … those who (committed) extermination and terror versus those who are defending (their) entire country…” she said.

The Pontiff delivered his address to the crowd following separate meetings with delegations from both sides of the Mideast conflict.

Twelve family members of some of the 240 Israeli hostages abducted during the October 7 terror attack spoke briefly with the Pope, as did Muslims with relatives in Gaza.

During the Pope’s address, anti-Zionist protestors in the VIP seats in St Peter’s Square waved Palestinian flags and signs accusing Israel of “genocide.”