Pope Francis and Netanyahu discuss Iran, pope’s expected trip to Israel

Click photo to download. Caption: Pope Francis (right) talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) and his wife Sara (left) during their meeting at the Vatican on December 2, 2013. Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash90.

(JNS.org) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Monday with Pope Francis in the Vatican, telling the pontiff, “Iran aspires to attain a nuclear bomb. It would thus threaten not only Israel but also Italy, Europe, and the entire world.”

Netanyahu’s wife Sara accompanied him to the meeting with Pope Francis. The couple told the pope about their son, Avner, who won Israel’s National Bible Quiz, and the connection between Jewish sources and the foundations of Christianity. Netanyahu asked Pope Francis, who is expected to visit Israel in May 2014, to stay in the Jewish state for a duration of five days in order to have time to visit sites that are holy to Christianity. “Come to the synagogue in Chorazin, Jesus visited there,” Netanyahu said, Israel Hayom reported.

The prime minister gave Pope Francis a copy of a book that his father, Professor Benzion Netanyahu, wrote about the Spanish Inquisition, as well as a large silver menorah. The pope gave Netanyahu a medallion bearing the figure of Paul—Jesus’s most important disciple. Netanyahu also met with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

Posted on December 3, 2013 .