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New York City mayor takes trip to Vatican to discuss Gaza war

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is pictured meeting Pope Francis in the Vatican. Photo courtesy of Eric Adams/Twitter
New York City Mayor Eric Adams is pictured meeting Pope Francis in the Vatican. Photo courtesy of Eric Adams/Twitter

May 12 (UPI) -- New York City Mayor Eric Adams took a trip to the Vatican over the weekend to meet with Pope Francis and discuss rising hate against Muslims and Jews caused by Israel's war in Gaza.

"We just had a brief conversation with His Holiness and I raised with him to please pray for us as we deal with the many conflicts globally," the Big Apple mayor said in a video message after the meeting.

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It was not immediately clear how long the pair talked or how much Adams' trip cost New York taxpayers. The Vatican press office did not mention Adams in its daily press bulletin Saturday.

"The war in Sudan, what is happening in Haiti, what's happening in the Middle East. And I discussed Robert Kraft's organization to end antisemitism and fight against hate," Adams said, adding, "And for prayers in dealing with the Islamophobia."

Robert Kraft is the chief executive of the Patriots football team, whose charges of soliciting prostitution in Florida were dropped in 2020 after video and audio surveillance was not allowed by the court overseeing the case. He has extensive ties to Israel and launched a campaign to combat "antisemitism" that Jewish critics said is helping to fuel it instead.

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"Mr. Kraft has really focused on this and just dealing with some of the fears that people are feeling," Adams said, again touting the football executive's initiative during a news conference Saturday. "He responded affirmatively and said, 'Eric, please pray for me as well.' That just shows the humanity inside him as a person."

During the news conference, Adams was asked about criticism that he hasn't said and done enough to help end the conflict in Gaza or discuss the suffering of Palestinians.

"You can't be the mayor of a city in general, but specifically the mayor of New York City and don't get criticism," Adams responded. "The best way to end the war is to dismantle Hamas, bring the hostages home so we can stop any form of death of any innocent people."

Adams did not state whether he believes Israel has handled the war properly, whether Palestine has a right to defend itself, or the mass detentions of Palestinians by Israelis that happened before the war began, often without any justification or prosecution.

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