The Atlantic - The Pope's Holy-Land Trip Wasn't About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
On the second day of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land over the weekend, Pope Francis got in trouble. Several media outlets called it a "propaganda war": The pontiff made an unscheduled stop to pray at the wall that divides Jerusalem from Bethlehem, which is in the West Bank; the following day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accompanied him on yet another unscheduled visit, this time to an Israeli memorial for victims of terrorism. There were endless photo ops—a competition to capture the pope's most politically poignant moment: praying at the Western Wall, praying on the banks of the Jordan River, praying before a Palestinian security checkpoint covered with Arabic graffiti.
But even though Francis met with Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, his trip wasn't about the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was about Christians.