Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir on Thursday condemned Pope John Paul II's audience with Austrian President Kurt Waldheim as an outrage.
"It's an outrageous act," Shamir told reporters on a tour of the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip. "It could be interpreted as a justification for crimes of which Waldheim is accused.
"What is taking place in Rome causes us great anguish," Shamir continued. "I hope that the people who are doing this . . . don't mean to give justification to the disaster that happened more than 40 years ago," he said in a reference to the extermination of 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany.
But the prime minister said there was nothing Israel could do to prevent Thursday's meeting.