Brazilian Deputies Urge Vatican to Establish Diplomatic Relations with Israel

Six members of the Brazilian House of Deputies of both the government and opposition parties have asked the Vatican to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. They also proposed internationalization of the holy places in Jerusalem. The deputies took that stand at a special session of the House in Brasilia which was dedicated to Israel in connection with the transfer of the Israeli Embassy from Rio to Brasilia. One of the deputies, a member of MDB and a Catholic priest, M. Nobre, praised Israel’s “political and administrative form of humanitarian socialism” and the “voluntary kibbutz system which characterizes the State’s progress.” Emphasizing that the anniversary of Israel’s creation was “a great date in world history,” the prelate warned against “increased anti-Jewish” activities around the world and censured the Catholic Church for maintaining “until not long ago” anti-Jewish expressions in prayer books. He also criticized Christians “who under the pretext of serving God.” were spurring “furious anti-Semitism.” He urged Pope Paul to move to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, calling that “the desire of all Catholics the world over.” He also proposed internationalization of all holy places “within the Israeli capital–Jerusalem.” At the same session, the other five deputies expressed full solidarity with the prelate’s speech.

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