Guess who's coming for Dinner?HT: IsraelMatzav.(JPost).Both the White House and the Prime Minister's Office said Tuesday that President Obama had spoken with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in January about a presidential visit to Israel this spring, which would be the first since Obama assumed the White House in 2009.
“The start of the President’s second term and the formation of a new Israeli government offer the opportunity to reaffirm the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel and to discuss the way forward on a broad range of issues of mutual concern,” said White House spokesman Tommy Vietor.
The trip, however, is widely seen as an effort by Obama to kick-start a moribund peace process between Israelis and Palestinians amidst other roiling regional concerns, such as the Arab Spring and Iran nuclear program.
Vietor said further details about the trip, including the dates, would be released at a later time.
Israeli media reports, however, have identified late March as the expected arrival time. Channel 10 reported that the visit will take place as part of a regional tour also expected to take Obama to Ankara, Riyadh, Cairo and Ramallah.
Obama came under a great deal of criticism for not visiting Israel during his first term, something which many believe would reassure a jittery Israeli public of his support, even though he did visit countries nearby such as Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He was last here as a presidential candidate in 2008.
Well, what a shock. Passover is March 25 - April 1, which means that all those religious Jews who would otherwise come out to demonstrate against Hussein Obama may have better things to do with their time. In fact, it might even be that he'll come the week before when we'll be really busy.But if he comes during Passover, the traffic will be a nightmare in Jerusalem - worse than usual.
Since Obama will come here, it is less likely that Netanyahu will travel to Washington for the annual AIPAC policy conference in early March, an opportunity Israeli prime minister's usually use to meet with the US president.
That visit, however, was already in doubt because of the possibility that Netanyahu may not have a new government in place by the conference, which begins March 3.
I heard reports on Monday night or Tuesday morning that the Prime Minister would not be going to Washington in March.Meanwhile, new US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to make his first visit to Israel in his new role sometime next week.Hmmm.....Entry of the 'Messiah' in Jerusalem at Passover?All they need is an ass. Read the full story here.