To Jerusalem He Goes

The pope is now in Jerusalem
He left Amman, Jordan earlier today
apparently he forgot where he parked his jet
but the Jordanians were nice enough to give him a lift on a Royal Jordanian airplane

Pope Benedict XVI (L) shakes hands with Jordan's King Abdullah II (R) before boarding a Royal Jordanian airplane at Amman's International Airport heading to Tel Aviv on May 11, 2009

Once in Jerusalem he was greeted by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Looks like the Pope travels with a very large entourage

A handout picture released by the Israeli Government Press shows Pope Benedict XVI (C), Israeli President Shimon Peres (R), Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) during an official ceremony upon the pontiffs arrival to Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv on May 11, 2009

After the arrival ceremony at the airport in Tel Aviv he took a helicopter to Mt Scopus

Interesting side notes:

the Mormon church built Brigham Young University on Mt Scopus in the 1980's
Jordan used to occupy Mt Scopus back in the day
during the Arab-Israeli war the Jewish people won the Mt Scopus territory
Mt Scopus had historically been used as a launching pad for attacks on Jerusalem.

I found that the Mt of Olives is one of the better Mt’s in Jerusalem

Pope Benedict XVI, center, is surrounded by security and media after alighting from an Israeli army helicopter at a welcoming ceremony at the Mount Scopus helipad in Jerusalem, Monday, May 11, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI (R) adjusts his mantle with the help of security personnel during a welcoming ceremony upon the Pope's arrival at Mount Scopus in Jerusalem May 11, 2009

The wind does not want to cooperate with the pope

You’d think a guy who has the ear of God could make the wind cooperate during all of his arrival ceremonies

Shortly after arriving on top of Mt Scopus the President force feeds the Pope a fig
Jewish tradition of some sort? Who knows?

But it makes for funny photos

By the way, could the girl with the microphone get any closer to the Pope?

Do we really need to hear how the Pope chews?

After force feeding the Pope a fig, the President of Israel handed him some wheat
In honor of the pope's arrival, they named a hybrid strain of wheat after him "Benedictus XVI"

at some point during the numerous arrival ceremonies he was driven to the presidential residence in Jerusalem where he promptly planted a tree with President Peres
of course, neither of them actually planted the tree
they just shoveled a few mounds of dirt in a hole with giant golden shovels
i wonder if the shovels were blessed by the pope? holy shovels?

Does this make Benedict XVI the first Green Pope?

Planting a tree in the presidential gardens

Pope Benedict XVI (R) and Israel's President Shimon Peres plant a tree in the garden of the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem May 11, 2009

After arrival ceremony #20 the Pope was carted off to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Hall of Remembrance for yet another arrival ceremony

Pope Benedict XVI arrives at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial's Hall of Remembrance on May 11, 2009 in Jerusalem, Israel

Pope Benedict XVI (C) sits between Israel's President Shimon Peres (R) and Parliament Speaker Reuven Rivlin during a ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem May 11, 2009

Looks like someone doesn’t want to be there


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