Israel's capital prepares for papal visit

The visit of Pope Francis next week, like any top level visit, will cause inconvenience for Jerusalem residents.

By
May 23, 2014 10:10
2 minute read.
pope

Pope Francis in the Holy Land. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The visit of Pope Francis next week, like any top level visit, will causes inconvenience for Jerusalem residents, especially those living in the inner city where some streets will be closed to traffic.

The police have posted signs on light poles fences and vehicles stating that from 4 p.m. on Sunday till 1 p.m. on Monday, no vehicles will be permitted to park on Hanassi or Radak streets, which intersect opposite the residence of the president. Vehicles of violators of the ban will be inspected for bombs and then towed to Liberty Bell Park.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Police barriers were already in place on both sides of the streets on Thursday, and preparations were being made at the President’s Residence for the arrival of the pope on Monday.

Staff at the residence allowed media representatives to see the preparations in progress. Almost everywhere one turned there were stands with the Pope’s Standard, the President’s Standard and the national flag of Israel.

Bolts of mismatched and slightly frayed red carpet were scattered in the grounds and in the main reception hall and unrolled for the cameras.

A member of staff said new carpets were arriving, but they won’t be ready for another two months – just in time for them to be inaugurated by the outgoing and incoming presidents of the state.

More than 20 stills photographers and television crews showed up on Thursday to capture visuals of the preparations. The Italian television crews wanted to record something in Italian.



President’s Residence deputy director-general Yoram Raviv, who is fluent in Italian, addressed Christians on the message of peace that the pontiff is bringing to Jerusalem.

There will be no English at the ceremony on Monday.

At the request of the Vatican, there will be only two languages – Hebrew and Italian, the president’s spokeswoman Ayelet Frish said.

Meanwhile, in the rear area where the main ceremony will take place, yet another language was heard. It was Yiddish, spoken by a small group of haredim who were putting up demarcation barriers.

Asked how come they were working for the pope’s visit, the reply was, “We’re not working for him, we’re working for ourselves.” Pressed as to whether they were being paid for their work or whether it was a matter of community service, they declined to answer.

Frish didn’t know the answer but surmised that they had won a tender to do the work.

On Monday, President Shimon Peres and Francis will pray together for peace in the presence of 600 children representing the religious and ethnic mosaic of Israel’s population.

The president and the pope will also join forces in planting an olive tree in the presidential garden as a symbol of peace.

Related Content

Riot
August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night

By DANIEL K. EISENBUD