The Pope Prays in Bethlehem, Lets Graffiti Do the Talking

It’s interesting that in all the places I’ve read about the Pope stopping and praying here, I don’t recall one mention that this is a place he CHOSE to stop when he saw the graffiti.

Shalom Rav

Pope Francis touches the wall that divides Israel from the West Bank in the West Bank city of Bethlehem

In the wake of Pope Francis’ recent visit to Israel/Palestine, many watchers have commented on his unscheduled visit to the separation wall in Bethlehem – and are already referring to the picture taken there as “iconic.”  It is indeed a powerful image: with the Pope leaning his head against the wall in prayer standing next to a young girl holding a Palestinian flag. Emblazoned across the wall, the graffiti pointedly reads, “Pope, we need some 1 to speak about justice” and “Pope, Bethlehem look like the Warsaw ghetto.”

Though the Pope made many stops at both Palestinian and Israeli sites, it is safe to say that his visit to the wall in Bethlehem will provide the most enduring image of the trip. Here we see the Pope praying at a very different kind of “wall.” While Popes and other religious dignitaries have long visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem as…

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About gwpj

Originally from Seattle, I now live in Sapporo, Japan, where I write, explore this city, read widely, and ask questions about things that i see as important. I'm also an author, with three novels published ("The Old Man and The Monkey", "Grandfather and The Raven", and "Bear: a story about a boy and his unusual dog"). For more information about my writing, drop by my website, at
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5 Responses to The Pope Prays in Bethlehem, Lets Graffiti Do the Talking

  1. Jack bender says:

    The pope has torn up most all the progress over the last 20 yrs in relations between the catholic clergy and the Jews…soon he will claim that Jesus was Palestinian….ignoring that there were no such thing as Arabs in Israel back then..he even ignored why the wall was built in the first place..the catholic clergy has murdered and stood by the murder of millions and millions of Jews over the last 1700 yrs…the truth is that the catholic clergy can’t get the Jews having Israel out of their craw…while overlooking the rise of radical Islam which is breathing down their backs

  2. gwpj says:

    Mr. Bender, you have just revealed that you are a hasbara troll. Not the first one I have met, by the way, and I am sure not the last.

    It’s the Pope’s fault, has nothing to do with the reality as experienced by Palestinians I know and who are close friends. All their words, according to you, are lies, just as you say the Pope’s words are. You say “the truth is that the catholic clergy can’t get the Jews having Israel out of their craw,” while denying what the Jewish State has visited on the lives of Palestinians for the past 66 years, and continues to visit upon them, both within Israel and the Occupied Territories, that Israel has no legal right to.

    Since Jesus was born in what is and has been known for centuries as Palestine, he was Palestinian, a Palestinian Jew. To answer a question that may be on your tongue, I am neither a Christian, nor a Muslim, nor a member of any other religion. I am a member of the human race, just as you, as a Jew, are.

    One further thing, Mr. Bender, if you continue taking this position, which is your right to do, I will remove your comments from this blog, which is my right to do. Good day.

  3. Jack bender says:

    Sir…it is your blog,so do what you will,.i really thought you were different from the other Israel bashers…by the way should I be insulted by being called a hasbara troll?…what is that?…suffices to say that you don’t want me to darken your blog any stay with your empty space …I hope your happy in your ignorance…possibly we could converse on something we could agree on in the future….good health and good luck

  4. Jack bender says:

    Just for the record ..roman emperor Hadrian in 135 ad..changed the name of the territory from Judea…to Syrian/philistine..which morphed into Palestine….therefore Jesus was a judean…Palestine was not named by the Romans until 135 yrs after his birth…

    • gwpj says:

      You are correct, and I thank you for reminding me of something I had learned 50+ years ago and forgotten. Jesus was born in Judea, so was a Judean Jew.

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