update deskIsrael at War

Herzog: Hamas atrocities ‘incompatible’ with Jesus’s teachings

They are an "expression of an empire of evil that emanates from Tehran," the Israeli president told Christian leaders at a holiday gathering.

President Isaac Herzog (front center) hosts local Christian leaders, including Greek Patriarch Theophilos III (left center), at his official residence in Jerusalem, Dec. 21, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
President Isaac Herzog (front center) hosts local Christian leaders, including Greek Patriarch Theophilos III (left center), at his official residence in Jerusalem, Dec. 21, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog told Christian leaders that the massacre carried out by Hamas on Oct. 7 is incompatible with the teaching of Jesus and the basic tenets of the Jewish faith as well as moderate Islam.

“Evil forces of the worst kind carried out a barbaric, sadistic attack, killing innocent women, children, old people, young people, people from 40 nationalities, taking hostages, raping, chopping heads, burning people and more,” Herzog said at a meeting with Christian leaders in the Holy Land on Thursday at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem ahead of Christmas.

“Nothing of this is compatible with the Gospels, with the writing of the Gospels, with the teaching of Jesus Christ, or the teachings of course of the Jewish faith, and also with moderate Islam,” he said.

“Our problem—all of us—is with extreme fundamentalist Islam, which does not accommodate you or us. It’s an expression of an empire of evil that emanates from Tehran, which believes in jihadist ideology, which we all have to eradicate. And that is why this war was forced upon us,” Herzog said.

Greek Patriarch Theophilos III, the head of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, said at the holiday reception, “Our common moral tradition teaches the unique value of every human life and respect for the dignity of every person.

“Our common moral tradition expects the entire human family to live in dignity. Our common moral tradition recognizes the importance of freedom, safety and security for the well-being of all,” Theophilos said.

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