The Problem in the Middle East isn’t a Wall…

There is a photo of Pope Francis at the security wall in Bethlehem during his visit to the holy Land. As you might guess a lot of people are going to be jumping all over those photos

The Pope stopped and prayed in front of the security barrier, with “profound” graffiti lining it.
The PLO couldn’t have hoped for a better image. This whole photo-op is obviously prearranged. Here’s an image of the same place, a few ours earlier, with Palestinian Arabs spray painting some graffiti slogans:

Now it is of course natural for the Pope to pray at such a spot with the hope of peace, but for the barriers to come down the reasons for those barriers much fall first.

In case you have forgotten why such barriers are necessary let start with this week in Brussels

Belgium launched a nationwide manhunt Sunday for a lone suspect in a shooting spree at the Brussels Jewish Museum that left three people dead and one in critical condition.

and Paris:

Two Jewish brothers dressed in “traditional” clothes were attacked near a synagogue in the Paris area, French officials and Jewish leaders said Sunday. The assault came hours after a deadly shooting spree Saturday at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

Interior Minister Bernard Caseneuve ordered police around France to increase security at Jewish houses of worship and other Jewish establishments, according to a statement

That is of course far away from the Israel so lets turn the clock a few months back to Dec 2013 and travel to the holy land:

A bomb exploded on a public bus in Israel on Sunday, moments after passengers evacuated.
Someone spotted a suspicious bag and reported it to the driver, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
“The passengers were immediately taken off the bus,” he said, and made it out safely “just in time.”

It’s a sad thing that there is a wall making things difficult in Bethlehem, but it’s a sadder thing that the people on one side of that wall are trying to do things like this.

Moreover this reality is something the world understands  but will not say aloud as can be demonstrated by going back a bit farther to 2012 (emphasis mine)

In February, 2007, Defense Minister Peretz announced his choice of the Iron Dome as Israel’s defensive solution to this short- and mid-range rocket threat. The U.S. paid Rafael, Israel’s military industrial giant, upwards of $300 million to make it happen, and it is a marvel of technology. If you had a chance to watch the Iron Dome rockets meeting the oncoming Gaza rockets over the past week or so, it’s absolutely astonishing.Except, here’s a true story: Back in mid-June, during the great Paris weapons show, the Rafael pavilion was absolutely the busiest around, and everybody wanted to look at the new, exciting, Iron Dome system, the greatest achievement in rocket defense ever. But by the end of the show, Rafael hadn’t made a single sale. The Arrow sold well, other systems did great – Iron Dome wasn’t moving. So they contacted their big clients, the serious ones, and asked what gives. And those clients told them no one except Israel has any use for these things. Because in any normal, sane country, if some hooligans were to start targeting civilians with rockets – the army would go and kill them.

Funny how countries not named Israel are like that.  Let’s go a bit further to 2002 before the barriers were built to see just how they are.  (Emphasis mine)

An Israeli named Audrey, was showing me the children’s waiting room. I couldn’t help but notice, all around, an Arab woman with her son, an Arab family over there checking in, Arab children playing with the toys while waiting. The doctor saw the look on my face and laughed. “Oh, yes, we treat everyone.” I guess I was astonished. She just shrugged. “We’re Jews. This is how we live. It’s also for the future. They’re not going anywhere, and we’re not going anywhere. There will eventually be peace. There has to be.” When? A month? A year? A hundred years? More? She didn’t know. I had to say it. You’re incredible. You take everyone, you treat everyone, no one goes first, no one goes last, you just go in order of who needs help. That’s, like, Mother Teresa stuff. “We’re not saints, we’re just doing our jobs. It’s not easy, I admit. And it gets hard when they cheer when the bodies are brought in.” I looked at her. What did you say? She sighed. “Yes, it gets hard when they cheer.” This was one of the times during my trip when I held up my hands and said, “Stop. Wait.” I turned and walked away to breathe deeply for a minute. I wonder if they’ve restocked that mini-bar. Yeah, probably. It’s a good hotel.I didn’t meet one Jew the whole trip who didn’t think there would be peace, not one. “We can work it out. We have to. They’re not going anywhere. Neither are we.”

Of course, it gets hard when they cheer.

And that my dear friends is the trouble with the middle east.  Ask yourself honestly, would a wounded jew be treated the same in Palestinian hands?

Until that changes, the necessity for the wall will remain.

I welcome the Pope’s peace initiative, it certainly can’t hurt but men’s hearts much change before the situation on the ground does.  Of course with God all things are possible and who knows that better than the holy father?

Update:  And the problem isn’t just in the Middle East

Rachel (last name withheld), a sophomore at DePaul, explained that the “DePaul Divest” campaign, begun two months ago, has transformed this campus from one that used to be “safe and community-giving.”

“This entire campaign and entire sit-in going on in the SAC (Schmitt Academic Center) is totally unsafe for Jewish students and I have had a lot of Jewish students text me and call me today and tell me they are not comfortable walking through that part of our campus, which is really disheartening.”

This is the fruit of radical Islam and like rotten fruit in any basket it spoils all it touches.

Update 2: I suspect this action by the Pope will be considered less newsworthy:

At Israel’s request, Francis deviated from his whirlwind itinerary to pray at Jerusalem’s Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial, giving the Jewish state his full attention a day after voicing strong support for the Palestinian cause.

What you mean there is another side of the coin here? Amazing!

Francis’ gesture at the wall and at the terrorism memorial – head bowed in prayer, right hand touching the stone – was the same he used a day earlier when he made an impromptu stop at the Israeli separation barrier surrounding the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

I doubt the MSM is going to give this stop the same attention it gave the first but I would hope that some of my fellows in the pro-Israel side who were quick to critique the Pope’s first stop will acknowledge the second.


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