President Obama, 5 years into his Presidency is finally making his way to Israel, our leading ally in the region, if not the world.
After all this time, there are so many things to see, to do it seems reasonable to ask what his itinerary might include.
He will speak to the Israeli Knesset, the seat of Israel’s government and home to many newly elected MK’s? No.
Clearly, he will visit Technion, the Israeli Institute of technical education and research, responsible for so many of the world’s advances? No
He’ll visit Haifa, the Northern Israeli city, with 50% Arab and Jewish population a beacon of how democracy in Israel works, home to huge chemical industries and the target of most of the missile attacks during the Lebanon war? Oh, not he.
Of course then, he’ll surely visit the embattled city of Sderot in the South, recipient of more missile attacks than any other? No
Well then, Ashkelon, the beautiful beach resort and one of Israel’s major cities, the new target of Palestinian missiles? No.
Well, of course, you say, he will bask in the almost 3 millenium old site of the world’s oldest religion, the Western wall, the most important site in Judaism?
He’ll tour the new excavations down the length of the wall and see the incredible Roman cisterns, or even stand at the site that is considered closest to the “Mishkan” the Ark of the Covenant?
No and No.
Well, Ir David, then, the City of David, just down the hill from the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount, where massive new discoveries have confirmed much of the biblical accounts? Or even wade through Ezekiel’s tunnel, the irrigation tunnel leading out of the ancient city of Jerusalem, which ends in a biblical age inscription describing it?
No, and of course, no.
Well then, certainly, as a Christian, visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City, which had been turned into a goat manger by the Jordanians and has been lovingly restored first by the Israeli Antiquities Authority and later by Christian bodies? No
What of the newly excavated “mikvah” sites used by Biblical Jews next to the old marketplace where Jesus famously turned over the tables of the money changers, just up the road from the Western and Southern walls of the Temple Mount? No
Ok then, well he IS only going to be there for 48 hours, and in Jerusalem, so he will go to the site of the Last Supper, along the walls of the Old City, where ancient “graffiti” confirms Jewish Presence in the area? Negative!
Ah, you say, it’s not a tourist trip! Business, all business!! So he will visit the sites of Iron Dome outposts, since US Dollars (approved of course, before his Presidency) did so much to change the strategy of the last conflict with the residents of Gaza? No (although the Israelis WILL be shipping an Iron Dome Battery to Ben Gurion Airport so he can see one as he lands).
Well, I suppose it would be foolish to even mention going to say, Mitzpe Ramon, where the Jewish National Fund has started another new water project to “Green” the desert? Silly me, you say.
So, where, exactly is Obama going and what is he doing?
Well, his one speech will be in the Jerusalem Convention Center. Clear across town. And his one major site visit? The Church of the Nativity, under the control of the Palestinian Authority, in Bethlehem, where the Arab residents of Samaria have successfully made the city “Judenrein” and driven most Christian residents out and where the Church itself was taken over by terrorists just a few years ago.
Of, course, he will be visiting Yad Vashem, which serves to confirm his personal, and the Arab, narrative that Israel is a creation of the Holocaust, and not the natural result of thousands of years of Jewish History, or even a fulfillment of an early 20th Century promise by the British.
When is a visit to Israel not a visit to Israel? When you’re President Obama and EVERYTHING is about changing the narrative to suit your vision, never the truth.