Unity and Peace? In Jerusalem?
Hardly anyone can have missed the fact that the Pope visited the Holy Land last week. The residents of the Holy City certainly didn’t miss it, since Benedict’s peregrinations through the city were accompanied by hours of road closures and massive traffic jams as a result.
So the pontiff’s visit wasn’t a big hit with the Jerusalemites, but to be fair that wasn’t exclusively connected to the traffic situation. The Catholic Church isn’t very popular here at the best of times, and now — in the wake of the Holocaust denying bishop being readmitted to the Church, and the continued process of canonization of Pope Pius XII, whose behavior during the Holocaust might have been politically prudent, but hardly saintly.
Nonetheless, the City of Jerusalem did what it could to put on a happy and welcoming face. The highway leading into town was decorated with Vatican and Israeli flags, and every streetlight carried a sign claiming that Jerusalem welcomes Pope Benedict XVI “in the spirit of unity and peace”.
Sounds nice enough, unity and peace. The problem is only that every single one of the posters sporting the Papal punim had been daubed with white paint.
No one should be surprised, I guess. Despite what everyone keeps telling us, Jerusalem is hardly known for either unity or peace.
Entry filed under: Politics.