As Pope Francis sets off for his visit to Israel, Jordan and Palestine, his aims are clearly humanitarian, but he risks falling into the pitfalls of the political.

According to the Pope’s itinerary, after Jordan, and before Israel, he will be visiting the State of Palestine.

He will be meeting the president of the State of Palestine and after several hours bidding “Farewell from The State of Palestine.”

In using this language, the Pope and the Vatican are demonstrating their view that the State of Palestine exists.

The Pope’s itinerary also says that while in the State of Palestine, he will visit a Palestinian refugee camp and meet with Palestinian refugees. This refugee camp is located in the territory under Palestinian control.

This means that, according to his itinerary, the Pope is in the State of Palestine, and yet he visits refugees from Palestine.

In all other international circumstances, this would not be possible.

People cannot be both citizens of a state, living in that state, never having been displaced in that state and yet refugees from that state.

So why are there people living in Palestine called refugees from Palestine?

The answer is purely political. The people called refugees are forced to live in misery in refugee camps due to the belief that Palestine is not limited to the State of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza, but that it includes, and should therefore supersede, the State of Israel.

The perpetuation of the status of refugees from Palestine for those who live in Palestine serves to keep alive the dangerous and false hope that one day Israel will disappear – i.e., the Jewish people will leave or become a minority among the descendants of Palestinian refugees entering their state, and all of the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean would be Arab Palestinian-ruled.

The fact that the Arab world perpetuates this hope is well-known.

But that a United Nations agency is complicit in this is less known. On May 19, a unique side-event entitled “UNRWA – Providing Humanitarian Relief or Prolonging the Palestinian Refugee Problem?” was held at the United Nations.

This conference was probably the first time under the UN roof that the political work of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees was critically examined, especially the manner in which it uses the humanitarian cause to provide cover for political motives.

UNRWA carries out important social-welfare work in providing schooling and hospitals to the Arab refugees of the 1947-1949 Palestinian-Israeli conflict and their descendants.

However, UNRWA operates much like the window-maker who sends his son to throw stones at the neighbors’ windows to generate continuous demand.

Had UNRWA not collaborated in perpetuating the status of Palestinian refugees and had it truly mobilized for their advancement and integration, the demand for its services would have been reduced.

The Pope will come to Jordan, Palestine and Israel with a message of peace.

Yet peace, true peace, can come about only if the Jewish people and the Palestinian Arabs equally recognize there are two peoples on the land with the right to self-determination, and that neither can supersede the other.

If there is to be peace, Israel cannot claim the entire land, but neither can Palestine.

Only someone of the stature and influence of the Pope can help send a clear message of mutual recognition of the rights of both peoples to their own states.

Only someone like this Pope, who has won over people around the world with his willingness to challenge established thinking and favor compassion over dogma, can help plant the seed of peace.

Just as the Pope has made it clear he visits the State of Palestine, thereby sending a message to Israel that it cannot expect to hold the entire territory between the Jordan and Mediterranean, so should he send a clear message to the Palestinians that the Jewish people have a right to self-determination in the land of Israel.

Pope John Paul is said to have been one of the most important figures in bringing down Communism through his love of all, based on his religious belief.

If Pope Francis were so inspired, he’d call on Abu-Mazen to “Tear Down This Camp” so peace has a chance to exist.

Dr. Einat Wilf is a Washington Institute for Near East Policy adjunct fellow and a Senior Fellow with the Jewish People Policy Institute.



There will be no real peace until Islam culture changes!

    Islamic Culture is a War, Hate, Violent and Slave Culture.


Arabs and Palestinians are controlled by it and do not know it! 


It is not about land, rights or settlements, water or being politically left or right. If it were it would have been solved long ago. It has not.

It is Cultural War that means Islamic Culture must destroy Western Culture or Western Culture must destroy Islamic Culture.


Muslims have been fighting each other and others for 1400 years or more. There is no reason that it will stop now. If we want peace we must change Islamic Culture.

    The book "Culture and Conflict”, explains it clearly. It shows that current cultural conditions in the Arab Middle East will not support internal development, advancement or peace until there is a major 
cultural change. “It is critical that we understand our enemy. That is step one in every conflict”. The book “Culture and Conflict” Philip Carl Salzman, INSB # 978-1-59102-587-0.


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