Pope Benedict met with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu on day four of his Middle East tour.
The highly anticipated meeting came a day after the pope make an emotional appeal in the West Bank for the establishment of a Palestinian homeland, an idea that Netanyahu refuses to endorse. Earlier in the day the pope visited Nazareth, the town where Jesus is believed to have grown up. There Benedict held Mass before a crowd of thousands. “Nazareth has experienced tensions in recent years which have harmed relations between Christian and Muslim communities,” he said. “I urge people of good will in both communities to repair the damage that has been done, and in fidelity to our common belief in one God, the Father of the human family, to work to build bridges and find the way to a peaceful coexistence.” His comments touched on some of the key themes the pope has focused on during the trip; the legacy of the Holocaust, the plight of the Palestinians and fragile ties between faiths.