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"Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he." — Jeremiah 31:10-11
”For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritualwickedness Strongs 4152: pneumatikos, pnyoo-mat-ik-os´; from 4151; non-carnal, i.e. (humanly) ethereal (as opposed to gross), or (daemoniacally) a spirit (concretely), or (divinely) supernatural, regenerate, religious: — spiritual. Compare 5591.in high places." — Ephesisna 6:12
Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Dr. Warren Goldstein, accused Pope Francis of repeating “the sins of Pius XII” and “surreptitiously colluding with the forces of evil” in an opinion video he shared on social media on Tuesday.
“By denying Israel the moral right to fight this war, by comparing its just war of self-defense to the barbarism of Hamas, you repeat the sins of Pius XII – surreptitiously colluding with the forces of evil who seek to annihilate the Jewish people,” stated Rabbi Goldstein while criticizing the Pope’s stance.
Drawing a historical parallel, Goldstein equated Pope Francis’s approach to that of Pope Pius XII during World War II, suggesting a failure in the Pope’s duty to protect both Christians and Jews from global threats. “And betrays his fiduciary duty as the head of the Catholic Church to protect Christians throughout the world from the same murderous hatred directed against the Jews, not realizing that we are in this war together,” he added.
Pope Francis’s ‘primitive pacifism’
Defending Israel’s right to self-defense, Goldstein cited two American commentators, David Rivkin and Peter Berkovitz, who, in a Wall Street Journalopinion piece, accused the Pope of “primitive pacifism.” Goldstein underscored that Israel’s military engagements conform to the principles of a just war, as established by Saint Augustine and the Geneva Conventions.
Highlighting the IDF’s efforts in minimizing civilian casualties, Goldstein remarked, “It is a matter of public record that the IDF has done more in this war and previous wars to minimize civilian casualties than any other army in recorded history.” He acknowledged the tragic nature of civilian deaths but emphasized their sometimes unavoidable nature in just wars.
The chief rabbi also addressed the broader regional context, particularly Iran’s threats against Israel. He criticized Pope Francis for not using his influence against Iran’s pursuit of nuclear capabilities and support for groups like Hamas. “And yet, you have never used your powerful moral voice to condemn Iran for all this,” he noted.
In his closing remarks, Goldstein urged Pope Francis to support Israel’s fight against Hamas, highlighting the shared threats to Jews and Christians.
“Now is the time for you to lend your moral support to Israel’s just war to defeat Hamas. If Israel cannot wage a just war within the accepted international laws of armed conflict, then it will be destroyed,” he concluded, emphasizing the global impact of the Pope’s position.