The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised Pope Francis for his forthright statement that “anyone who does not recognize the Jewish people and the State of Israel — and their right to exist — is guilty of anti-Semitism.” The ZOA also praised the pontiff for clarifying his earlier comment that Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas –– who refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, demands a Jew-free Palestinian state, and praises Jew-killing terrorists as ‘martyrs’ –– is “an angel of peace.” The Pope said that what he had told Abbas was that he hoped that he might one day become an angel of peace (Avi Lewis, ‘Not recognizing Israel as Jewish is anti-Semitic, Pope says’,’ Times of Israel, May 28, 2015).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We praise Pope Francis for making a brief but important statement –– that not to recognize the Jewish people and its right to self-determination in the State of Israel is anti-Semitic.
“Israeli statesman Abba Eban once observed, ‘There is no difference whatever between anti-Semitism and the denial of Israel’s statehood. Classical anti-Semitism denies the equal right of Jews as citizens within society. Anti-Zionism denies the equal rights of the Jewish people its lawful sovereignty within the community of nations. The common principle in the two cases is discrimination.’”