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WORLD
December 20, 2011 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
A 45-foot-high artificial Christmas tree towers over Manger Square, and downtown Bethlehem is festooned with sparkling decorations. There's even a picture of a saxophone-playing Santa Claus. But Nabil Giacaman, co-owner of a souvenir shop called Christmas House, isn't feeling the holiday spirit. The third-generation woodcarver, who sells handmade likenesses of baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary, sees as many as 200 tour buses arrive every day from Israel to visit the Church of the Nativity, just a few steps from his store.
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WORLD
January 5, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM--Pope Francis will visit the Middle East in May, he announced Sunday to believers gathered at St. Peter's Square in Rome. "In the climate of joy typical of this Christmas period, I would like to announce that from May 24 to 26, God willing, I will carry out a pilgrimage to the Holy Land,"  the pope said . Francis' visit -- his only foreign travel planned for 2014 to date -- is to last three days and include Amman, Jordan;...
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 11, 2009 | Duke Helfand
When Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Israel today for his first visit to the Holy Land, he will bear a message of religious cooperation aimed in part at strengthening often shaky Catholic-Jewish relations. Benedict's Middle East pilgrimage began in Jordan and will also take him to the West Bank, where he'll visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and Jerusalem's Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site. He will meet with Israel's two chief rabbis, its president and prime minister.
WORLD
March 20, 2013 | By Christi Parsons and Edmund Sanders
JERUSALEM -- Opening his first presidential visit to the nation's closest Mideast ally, President Obama declared Wednesday that "peace must come to the Holy Land" during a red carpet arrival ceremony with Israeli leaders. In remarks after landing at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Obama described the U.S.-Israeli bond as “eternal,” the apparent theme of the three-day trip. The words "unbreakable alliance" are emblazoned on official signs, shirts, fliers and mugs all over Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
WORLD
May 8, 2009 | Jeffrey Fleishman
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Jordan today on a three-day pilgrimage to bless a tiny Catholic population and improve the Vatican's relations with a Muslim world greeting him with aloofness, anger and a slight hope that he may advance peace in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. On his first visit to an Arab country, the 82-year-old pontiff is receiving little fanfare. Benedict outraged Muslims in 2006 when he quoted a medieval emperor's condemnation of Islam as a violent religion.
WORLD
May 13, 2009 | Richard Boudreaux
Pope Benedict's pilgrimage to the Holy Land veered Tuesday into controversy over his past when the Vatican, stung by Israeli criticism, denied and then acknowledged his membership in the Hitler Youth during World War II. The conflicting accounts came in response to Israeli leaders who faulted the German-born pontiff for not mentioning, in an address Monday at the Holocaust Memorial, that he had witnessed Nazi terror as a conscript in the youth movement and the German army.
NEWS
January 13, 2000 | Associated Press
The Vatican on Wednesday issued a politically charged itinerary for the first papal pilgrimage to the Holy Land in more than 35 years, laying out an agenda that is to take John Paul II to some of the most sacred sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The March 20-26 trip is to take the pontiff, 79, to Christian shrines, the Western Wall and Al Aqsa mosque, Vatican officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 25, 1988 | JOHN V. WHITBECK, John V. Whitbeck is a lawyer in Paris.
The common wisdom in response to the unrest in the West Bank and Gaza is that the Israelis have only unattractive alternatives to their present policy: They might grant equal rights to all in a democratic, non-sectarian state--which would no longer be distinctively Jewish--or remove the territories' 1 1/2 million Palestinians, by persuasion or expulsion--but to what other country? Or they could impose still harsher conditions on their Arab subjects--and provoke an outright war.
NEWS
December 23, 1985 | Associated Press
Fear of terrorism and the threat of more airplane hijackings in the Middle East are keeping pilgrims from Jesus' birthplace this year. Haya Fisher of the Israeli Tourism Ministry's pilgrimage division said Sunday that the number of Christmas pilgrims in the Holy Land is down by at least 20% this year because of recent terrorist attacks, including the pirating of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 6, 1999 | DON SHIRLEY, TIMES THEATER WRITER
A BBC production of "Via Dolorosa," David Hare's acclaimed monologue about his trips to Israel and Palestinian occupied territories, arrives on KCRW-FM (89.9) today. Radio may well be the script's natural home. After listening to the tape and without having seen Hare's performance of his own material in London or on Broadway, one is left wondering if anyone would have paid Broadway ticket prices to see "Via Dolorosa" if they had known it would be on the radio.
OPINION
July 29, 2012 | By Rafael Medoff
Mitt Romney's visit to Israel will generate much speculation on the role Jewish voters will play in the U.S. presidential election. His visit may also spark discussion about Mormon-Jewish relations in the wake of the recent controversy over a Mormon temple that conducted posthumous baptism ceremonies for some Holocaust victims. But another Mormon's visit to Jerusalem, 99 years ago, deserves some of the spotlight too. Because that little-known visit ultimately had a decisive impact on Jewish history and America's response to the Holocaust.
NEWS
March 28, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Gospel music isn't necessariiy the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Elvis Presley. But he did win three Grammys for spiritual recordings and often used gospel groups as back-up singers in his live shows. Now three gospel singers who performed with him -- Joe Moscheo and Terry Blackwood of the Elvis Imperials and Bill Baize -- will come along as featured guests on the Elvis Presley Holy Land Tour of Israel. Elvis Presley Enterprises partnered with Israel Theme Tours to offer fans a May 2013 tour that begins with a flight from New York City to Tel Aviv.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2011 | By David O'Reilly, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Cardinal John P. Foley, a priest who rose from working-class roots in Philadelphia to become the Vatican's longtime spokesman on Roman Catholic social teachings, has died. He was 76. Foley was perhaps best known to American audiences as host for 25 years of NBC's annual broadcast of the pope's Christmas Mass at St. Peter's Basilica. He died Dec. 11 of leukemia at a home for retired priests in Darby, Pa., the town where he was born. Citing fatigue and declining health, he returned to Philadelphia in February after four years as Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a knighthood based in Rome.
WORLD
December 20, 2011 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
A 45-foot-high artificial Christmas tree towers over Manger Square, and downtown Bethlehem is festooned with sparkling decorations. There's even a picture of a saxophone-playing Santa Claus. But Nabil Giacaman, co-owner of a souvenir shop called Christmas House, isn't feeling the holiday spirit. The third-generation woodcarver, who sells handmade likenesses of baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary, sees as many as 200 tour buses arrive every day from Israel to visit the Church of the Nativity, just a few steps from his store.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2011 | By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
When the new science of photography was developed in the 1830s, the world became instantly accessible in a way it never had been before. Photographers turned first to the places that burned brightest in people's imaginations, none more than that sliver of Earth called the Holy Land. There was just one problem. "They encountered the fact that this incredibly important ? land didn't have a lot of appeal in a photograph," said Kathleen Stewart Howe, the curator of an exhibition that opened this week at the Getty Villa, "In Search of Biblical Lands: From Jerusalem to Jordan in 19th Century Photography.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2010 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
When you call a movie " Robin Hood," you set up expectations: a gallant archer, a maid named Marion, a band of Merry Men, a crusading king and a certain camaraderie in Sherwood Forest. The latest version has those elements, but they don't play out in a way that's easy to recognize or respond to, and that's a problem. It's an especially frustrating problem because the key creative people involved in the film are among the best in the business and their work here is for the most part solid.
NEWS
March 21, 2000 | RICHARD BOUDREAUX, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Pope John Paul II began a long-awaited pilgrimage to the Holy Land on Monday with a panoramic gaze across its arid landscape from the mountain where Moses is said to have died, and appealed for an end to the region's ancient conflicts. "In this area of the world, there are grave and urgent issues of justice, of the rights of peoples and nations, which have to be resolved as a condition for lasting peace," he said during a welcoming ceremony at the airport outside Amman, the capital of Jordan.
NEWS
March 20, 2000 | TRACY WILKINSON and REBECCA TROUNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The last time a pope visited the Holy Land, in 1964, Jerusalem was a physically divided city, with land mines separating Israel's portion from the area controlled by Jordan. When Pope John Paul II arrives here Tuesday on his historic pilgrimage to today's Holy Land, the minefields will be political and psychological, but every bit as treacherous.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 1, 2010 | By Nick Owchar
In the annals of demonology, William Peter Blatty falls somewhere between St. Augustine and Joss Whedon. He isn't the first person who's ever written about demons and demonic possession, but he has provided us with one of the genre's most memorable novels, 1971's "The Exorcist." There had been disturbing stories before, but nothing -- especially when Blatty teamed up with director William Friedkin for the 1973 screen adaptation -- so terrified audiences about the possibilities of the diabolical in ordinary people's lives.
WORLD
May 16, 2009 | Richard Boudreaux
Pope Benedict XVI ended a politically charged visit to Israel and the West Bank on Friday with new condemnations of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial and his strongest appeal yet for the creation of a Palestinian state. Benedict's farewell remarks from the tarmac at Tel Aviv's airport pleased both Israelis and Palestinians, many of whom had initially viewed him with skepticism.
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