Hundreds at cultural event in St Peter's Basilica

Applause in the Vatican for speech on "genocide in Gaza"

Vatican City - The controversy surrounding the war between Israel and the terrorist army Hamas has now also reached the Vatican. A militant speech in favour of Palestine was given at an event in the vestibule of St. Peter's Basilica.

Published  on 13.05.2024 at 12:44  – 

A cultural event organised by the Vatican foundation "Fratelli tutti" ended with a scandal on Sunday evening. As the Italian daily newspaper "Il Messaggero" reported online, the Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman accused Israel of "genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people in Gaza" in a speech. Karman gave the speech after a musical contribution by American country singer Garth Brooks.

In her speech, which can be listened to on the Facebook page of the Italian Bishops' Conference, Karman went on to say that the current student protests in Rome, the USA and other countries against the war in Gaza were a "great victory". It was about getting the USA on the "right side of history" and preventing countries from supplying weapons to "regimes and occupying powers that kill women and children".

At this point, Karman explicitly compared Israel's actions in Gaza with the attacks by the Russian army in Ukraine. She said: "Why are Palestinian women and children in Gaza being killed every day as a result of the Israeli occupation? Why are women and children being killed in Ukraine as a result of the Russian occupation?" Karman's combative speech was interrupted several times by applause. Several hundred people took part in the event on Sunday evening in the vestibule of St Peter's Basilica. Pictures from the "Vatican News" portal show the host, Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, and Rome's mayor Roberto Gualtieri in the front row of the audience. (KNA)