His pilgrimage this week is also a chance to reassure Jews and Muslims about Vatican views.
Palestinians are building a stage to receive the pope beside Israel's separation barrier, but the Vatican says he will now speak at a nearby school.
As the Jewish state celebrates Independence Day on Wednesday, a small but growing band comes together to share experiences.
The president will meet with three leaders from the region in coming weeks. Meanwhile, special envoy George Mitchell finds it tough going.
After meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II, he emphasized his commitment to Palestinian statehood – a top concern among Arabs.
A meeting to judge progress on racism is likely to be captive to Israeli-Palestinian and Islamic defamation issues.
On Monday, a US judge ruled John Demjanjuk is healthy enough to face trial in Germany. He’s accused of complicity in the deaths of 30,000 Jews and gypsies.