Israel Slams Catholic Call to End Occupation of Palestine

Calls archbishop's comments 'libel'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 25, 2010 7:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – Israel blasted a statement by Catholic bishops made during a conference in Rome that called for “an end to the occupation” of Palestinian territories. “We express our disappointment that this important synod has become a forum for political attacks on Israel in the best history of Arab propaganda,” said Israel’s deputy foreign minister.

Danny Ayalon added that Israel was “especially appalled at the language used” by US-based Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, who said at a press conference that “we Christians cannot speak of the 'promised land' as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people. This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people—all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.” Ayalon slammed Bustros's comments as "libel," CNN reports.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, right, meets with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon in Jerusalem, Sunday, March 21, 2010. U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, who was touring the Gaza Strip Sunday wants...   (AP Photo/Menahem Kahana, Pool)
In this photo taken with a fish eye lens and provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI, background center, presides over the last day of the synod of bishops from the Middle...   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
Bishops attend a Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of the conclusion of the synod of bishops from the Middle East in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Bishops gather in front of Bernini's baldachin during a Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of the conclusion of the synod of bishops from the Middle East in St. Peter's Basilica at the...   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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We call on the Vatican to distant themselves from Archbishop Boutros' comments which are a libel against the Jewish People and the State of Israel and should not be construed as the Vatican's official position. - Deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon

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