Habemus Papam--"We have a Pope!"
Pope Benedictus XVI just flew over my house in this Blackhawk helicopter!
Jerusalem will have the Pope for five very full days.
Pope Benedict made the 40-minute flight from Amman in a Royal Jordanian airliner, landing at Ben-Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv at 11:00.
The official state (i.e. military) welcoming ceremony went perfectly.
The band played the two national anthems.
I must say, I was very moved to see the head of the Catholic Church standing as Hatikva (The Hope) was played, here in the sovereign State of Israel.
We have all come a long way in the last century.
Thank God for progress in Christian-Jewish relations.
Thank God for an independent and strong Jewish state.
President Peres welcomed His Holiness in Hebrew, English, and even a sentence in Latin.
The Pope made his good speech in English.
Lots of handshakes on the long red carpet.
Finally three helicopters took off for the 20-minute flight to Jerusalem.
However, just over my house the convoy split up.
It was announced that the Pope had asked for an extra little sivuv, wanting to see even more of the Holy City from above.
His entourage and the journalists proceeded directly to Mount Scopus.
On Mt. Scopus the Mayor of Jerusalem and 120 kids of the three faiths welcomed the Pope at 12:30.
Within 15 minutes the Pope was in the super-secure black Audi car, on the way to the Mount of Olives for a short rest at the Vatican Ambassador's place.
Welcome, Pope Baruch. As Mayor Barkat said, make yourself at home, feel at home, here in Jerusalem.
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