Pope Benedict described Israel’s 60th Independence Day as a sign of God’s beneficence toward the Jews.
“I would like to congratulate the State of Israel on its 60th Independence Day,” Yediot Achronot quoted Benedict as telling Motti Levy, the new Israeli ambassador to the Vatican, on Monday.
“The Holy See is united with you, and thanks God for the full realization of the Jewish people’s aspirations to live in its homeland, the land of its forefathers.”
In an interview with Israel Radio, Levy described meeting the pontiff as “very moving.”
According to Levy, Benedict endorsed Israel’s right to self-defense but also appealed for an end to Palestinian suffering. He further voiced concern about the dwindling number of Christians in the Holy Land.