ADL Calls Vatican Statements Against Israel "Terribly One-Sided and Short-Sighted"
New York, NY, July 17, 2006 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) sharply criticized the Vatican's response to the Middle East crisis, calling it "terribly one-sided and short sighted."
On Vatican Radio, the Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, condemned Israel for defending itself against repeated unprovoked attacks on her soil and Pope Benedict XVI in his Sunday address said that Israel's reprisals cannot be justified.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
The Vatican continues to be mired in a false paradigm that equates, on the one side, terrorist actions by Islamist extremists who view both Jews and Christians as infidels and seek Israel's destruction with, on the other side, Israel's right to defend itself and eliminate the ongoing and growing threats to its citizens.
Given Pope Benedict's recognition of the growing global threat posed by Islamist terrorists, we are saddened that the Vatican would issue such counterproductive statements that seek to lend moral equivalency to the unprovoked terrorist actions of Hezbollah and Hamas with Israel's defensive actions to protect its civilian population. The Vatican's positions are terribly one-sided and short-sighted, given that the goal of Islamist terrorists is to wage war against all non-believers, including Christians.
We call on the Holy See to reconsider its position in this time of crisis and stand up for Israel which is being forced to fight a war for survival on two borders.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano said that, "… a State's right to self-defense does not exempt it from respecting the norms of international law, especially as regards the protection of civilian populations. In particular, the Holy See deplores the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation, and gives assurances of its closeness to those people who have suffered so much in the defense of their own independence."
Pope Benedict XVI in his Sunday address said he is especially concerned "for the increasing military activities in Lebanon and for the many victims among the civilian population. At the root of such pitiless contrasts there are, unfortunately, objective ... violations of rights and of justice. But neither terrorist acts or reprisals, especially when they have such tragic consequences on the civilian population, can be justified."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.