Pope Played by Palestinians?


The major news story in Israel today is Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy Land. The Pope was received by political and religious dignitaries as he embarked on his planned visits the obligatory photo-op stops including the Kotel and Yad VaShem. But of all of the Pope’s activities, nothing delighted the Palestinians more and the Israelis less than his unscheduled stop at the West Bank safety barrier. Pope Francis placed his hand on the wall and prayed.

The safety barrier of course has saved countless Jewish lives and put a near stop to an endless series of suicide bombings and terror attacks.


To many Israelis it was nothing less than an obscenity to see the modern day heir of the empire that expelled them and the faith that tormented them embracing the Palestinian narrative of the wall as a human rights offense rather than a life saving measure.

To add insult to injury, the Pope, or his handlers chose to pose him next to graffiti comparing the genocidal inferno of the Warsaw ghetto to the Palestinian governed City of Bethlehem.


Let us give the Pontiff the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he was unaware of the dramatic reduction in the death of innocents since the barrier’s construction. Perhaps his prayers at the barrier were for a softening of the Palestinian heart so that they might accept their Jewish cousins as a nation and a neighbor.

Update: sent in by a friend on Israellycool. We can only hope this is what the Pope was praying for:

Dear Lord keep out the terrorists

About Zion Mike

A semi hard working family man with wife and four kids, Zion Mike's primary goal is getting a good nap. Living in the center of demented anti-Israel wackiness known as the Pacific Northwest has compelled Michael to blog here and at The Mike Report. He is consistently surprised when people take notice.

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  • Jim from Iowa

    Loved the conversation bubble that was added to the photo. American press has made note of the event, but not a lot of buzz here. Shooting in Santa Barbara is a much bigger story in America. The attitude by the American press on the security barrier story is that the Palestinians say this and the Israelis say that, and they should just sort it out themselves. Meanwhile they’ve got the Kim Kardashian/Kanye West wedding to cover.

  • Shy Guy
  • internev

    Amazing how he happened to stop and pray at the freshly painted, English graffiti…

  • Bubbe

    When will this photo glurge ever end? And the facts come out and become the daily news? Can’t this man see his goodness is being used for wrong reasons?

  • Art Deco

    I think you read too much into it. The prayer itself is of ambiguous meaning as a political remark (if it is such a remark).

    You neglect something that traditional Catholics have been voluble about: Francis has a loose tongue. He does not have the sort of theological education Benedict and John Paul had nor the diplomatic background of Paul VI, John XXIII, Pius XII. Off-the-cuff and ill-considered remarks have grown routine (and the excuses for them by organization-man bloggers) and not a few orthodox Catholics have been tearing their hair out over what some of these might portend.

    • Norman_In_New_York

      Are you suggesting that the pontiff is like John Kerry?

      • Art Deco

        No, but people like Kerry fancy that Francis is their man. In a way, that’s probably true. Francis reflects the modal disposition of the American episcopate and parish clergy, most of whom trade in frothy and unserious verbiage and would rather not occupy the role of critics of the larger society (a function that any serious Catholic prelate must perform). The clergy is shot through with men who want to be den mothers on salary or run social welfare programs; the rest embarrasses them.

  • mikeh420

    At least Pope Benedict knew the enemy. Looks like they’re back to electing Anti-Semitic popes again.

    • Art Deco

      Save it for Bp. Tutu. The Pope’s ‘anti-semitism’ is not your problem. Nor was it a problem re any other occupant of the Chair of Peter since 1878. Nor was it a peculiar problem for earlier 19th century popes.

  • chevymon77

    hmmm….was the pope played ? why not put it like this? People just hate the obvious: the pope didn’t get to be the pope by being gullible or slow, nor did he get to be the pope by surrounding himself with gullible or slow people…he was not “played” ,far from it.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    So the pope invited Abbas and Peres to the Vatican for his stab at the peace process. Will the outside world never learn?

    • walt kovacs

      he asked them to come and pray
      not have talks

      • Art Deco

        True. However, the diocesan bishops in Israel and in the West Bank and Gaza can do that particular function. I am not sure what the utility of having Francis is other than there is a social expectation that the Catholic and Orthodox bishops be advocates for their own and not neutrals. (The other problem is the antique and strange rivalries among dispensations in Jerusalem, as seen at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre).

  • Menachem Goren

    I was bemused by the visit and watched several parts, and thought his appearance in israel (as opposed to the PA’s playing of him) went over well until I read Caroline Glick’s (Yay, Caroline!) “j’accuse” article, today (28 May) in the Jerusalem Post, about the friendly pope’s visit and his not so mixed message to Israel (and Jews the world over). Just another “useful idiot”?

  • jhertzli

    The decline in suicide bombs might have been due to the fact that it is very hard to recruit experienced suicide bombers.

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