Nine Facts About the Pope’s Visit to Jerusalem
1) The pope visited Muslims first
In a visit full of symbolism, Francis flew to Jordan and then Palestinian areas before flying to Tel Aviv and finally Jerusalem.
2) The pope deemed the Palestinians a state
The official itinerary for day two of Francis’s visit refers to the Palestinian Authority office in Bethlehem as “the presidential palace.” Francis also pointedly mentioned “the State of Palestine.”
3) The pope called Mahmoud Abbas a ‘man of peace’
Francis also referred to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as a “man of peace and a peacemaker.” Abbas recently formed a unity government with the terrorist organization Hamas.
4) The pope created a photo op at a security wall
Francis unexpectedly halted his motorcade at an Israeli security wall near Bethlehem so he could pray near recent Palestinian graffiti accusing Israel of apartheid and of creating a Nazi Warsaw-like ghetto.
5) The pope prayed with Fouad Twal
At Sunday mass under Palestinian flags, Francis prayed with a Palestinian archbishop who compared Palestinians to the child Jesus and said Israelis are “present-day Herods.” The pope continued the Herod theme in his own speech.
6) The pope called a prayer peace summit
After mass, Francis made a surprise invitation to Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres to pray for peace at the Vatican, inserting himself into Middle East peace diplomacy.
7) The pope called Muslim authorities ‘dear brothers’
On the third day of his trip, Francis departed from his script to call Muslim authorities not his ‘dear friends’ but his ‘dear brothers.’
8) The pope met Muhammad Ahmad Hussein
One of those ‘dear brothers’ of Francis was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who has approved of suicide bombings, called for Jews to be killed and incited riots.
9) The pope blamed the holocaust on ‘man’
In the Yad Vashem guest book, Francis blamed the Holocaust on ‘man’ three times. He omitted the role of Nazi Germany—or the Vatican, which cut a deal with Hitler and helped Nazis escape after the war.