A booklet that alleges that the Vatican is in cahoots with Hezbollah was published by a branch of the Orthodox Union and was, until recently, being distributed to Israeli solders. Haaretz is reporting that the booklet — purported to be narrated by a Hezbollah leader who converted to Judaism, changed his name to Avi, and spied for Israel — asserts that Catholic prelates lead members of the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah on concentration camp tours in order to teach them how to kill Jews.
In a press release, the New York-based Orthodox Union said the decision to endorse the text, which was published in conjunction with the chief rabbi of Safed, had been made by staffers in Israel, and had not been approved by the organization’s senior management. The statement reads:
While the Haaretz report certainly sensationalized the book’s contents, there is no doubt that some of what it contains is antithetical to the well-known views of the OU regarding respect for other faiths and their leaders. The OU rescinds the endorsement of the book and disavows any connection to the views expressed in it. The OU’s senior leadership has directed that an internal review of this incident take place, and that the organization tighten its procedures to ensure that such a situation is not repeated. The Orthodox Union expresses its sincere regret to those of other faiths who may have been embarrassed or offended by the publication of this work.
The IDF, alerted to what a spokesman called “the sensitivity of [the booklet’s] content,” has stopped giving the pamphlet to its ranks, according to Haaretz.