Pope: “How am I? Still alive”. On the Middle East: “War is defeated, two states are needed”

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“How am I? Still alive”. This is how Pope Francis responded to Tg1 director Gian Marco Chiocci. In the long interview, the Pontiff also spoke about the Middle East. “Every war is a defeat,” he said. He added that the “wise solution” is that of “two peoples and two States”. On anti-Semitism: “Unfortunately, it has not passed.” Then he confirmed that he will go to Dubai for the COP28 on climate: “Yes, I will go to Dubai. I think I will leave December 1st until December 3rd. I will stay there for three days” (ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR: ALL THE LIVE UPDATES – THE SPECIAL).

The Pope: “Every war is a defeat”

“Every war is a defeat. Nothing is resolved with war. Nothing. Everything is gained with peace, with dialogue. They entered the kibbutzim, they took hostages. They killed someone. And then the reaction. The Israelis went to take those hostages, to save them”, the Pontiff said in the interview. “In war, one slap provokes another. One strong and the other even stronger and so we go on. War is a defeat. I felt it as one more defeat. Two peoples who must live together. With that wise solution: two peoples and two states. The Oslo agreement: two very limited states and Jerusalem with a special status,” he added.

“Anti-Semitism remains hidden”

Asked if he fears a resurgence of anti-Semitism, Francis then responded: “Unfortunately, anti-Semitism remains hidden. You can see it: young people, for example, here and there doing something. It is true that in this case it is very large, but there is always something anti-Semitic and it is not always enough to see the Holocaust that they committed in the Second World War, these 6 million killed, enslaved and it has not passed. Unfortunately, it didn’t pass. I won’t be able to explain it and I have no explanation, it’s a fact that I see it and I don’t like it.”

Maradona or Messi: “Pelé”

The Pope also responded to lighter questions. When Chiocci asked him if he preferred Maradona or Messi, he declared: “I’ll say a third, Pelé.” “Maradona as a player is great, a great man. But as a man he failed. Poor guy slipped with the court of those who praised him and didn’t help him. He came to visit me here the first year of his pontificate and then the poor guy was finished. It’s curious: many athletes end up badly. Even in boxing. Messi is very correct. He’s a gentleman. But for me, of these three, the great gentleman is Pelé. A man of a heart”, said the Pontiff. I, he added, ” I talked to Pelé, I met him once on a plane when I was in Buenos Aires, we talked. A man of such great humanity. The three are great. Each with his own specialty. Messi is good at the moment. And Pelé was good.”