The Vatican’s failure to condemn the latest attack cries to the heavens. Aside from the moral vacuum, it can possibly be interpreted as in effect giving a stamp of approval to acts of terrorism committed against Jews.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

The Vatican’s ambassador to Israel was summoned yesterday (Monday, 25 July) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem in order to receive the State of Israel’s expression of extreme dismay at the conspicuous absence of Israel in the list of countries hit by recent terrorist attacks that were cited by Pope Benedict XVI in his Sunday sermon (24 July). The pope condemned “the execrable terrorist attacks which caused death, destruction, and violence in different countries including Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, and Britain,” but did not mention the horrendous attack that took place in Israel last week.

The terrorism that strikes Jews in Israel – including the attack last week that resulted in the murder and wounding of many teenagers and children – is almost always immediately condemned by leaders of the free world. The Vatican’s failure to condemn the latest attack cries to the heavens. Aside from the moral vacuum, it can possibly be interpreted as in effect giving a stamp of approval to acts of terrorism committed against Jews.

We had hoped for different behavior from the new pope, who from the beginning has expressed his views on the importance of relations between the Church and the Jewish people, especially this year, which marks 40 years since the proclamation of the “Nostra Aetate”.

We have the right to expect Pope Benedict XVI, who called for “a dialogue among the three religions that recognize Abraham as their father,” to condemn the vicious terrorist attack directed at Jews, just as he condemned other terrorist attacks.