Israel is preparing the red carpet for President Barack Obama, who will have a three-day carefully staged photo-op and an hour or so to entertain a hand-picked audience for an oratorical performance.
A force of 10,000 police officers and security officials will surround President Obama from the time his plane touches down at Ben Gurion Airport next Wednesday until it leaves two mornings later.
Just as he orchestrated his campaign visit to Israel and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in 2008, White House planners have worked it out to make sure America’s Big Boss will stay in neutral territory.
He will visit the Israel Museum, which is full of Muslim, Christian and Jewish displays, giving him the opportunity to show how respectful he is of the world’s three major religions. The highlight will be his observing the Dead Sea Scrolls, which won’t upset the Palestinian Authority since the Scrolls have nothing to do with the re-written Muslim history of Israel.
The tentative schedule of President Obama’s trip does not list the Bethlehem Church of Nativity, which the President previously said he wanted to visit. It is located only a few minutes from Jerusalem, but if he does arrive there, it will require a mammoth security operation that would require “cleansing” the area of any Arab within shooting distance and would probably cause a vicious Arab reaction.
President Obama may view the Iron Dome missile, if a trip to Bethlehem does not override it, and he will state that American funding of the defensive weapon against incoming short-range missiles is proof that “Israel has America’s back.”
Obama will make an obligatory trip to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, where the PA security force, undoubtedly backed up by behind-the-scenes Israeli intelligence, will try to keep his subjects out of view so they don’t greet President Obama by burning American flags.
The President will say that his visit demonstrates the United States’ commitment to the Palestinian people, including those in Gaza, where even in his worst nightmare, he would not think of visiting.
Abbas will smile with Obama, which will infuriate the Arab street given the United States’ refusal to accept Abbas’ swipe in the face of the White House by putting another nail in the coffin of the “peace process” and going to the United Nations for de facto recognition of its territorial and political demands.
Abbas will tell Obama he wants to negotiate with Prime Minister Netanyahu, although no one in the press corps will report that Abbas has left nothing on the table to negotiate.
Obama will return to Jerusalem for a gala dinner with President Shimon Peres and will speak to Israelis at the Jerusalem Convention Center for what may be his last opportunity to talk directly to Israel.
After praising Israel to no end, and after mentioning that he will visit Mount Herzl the following day to honor the memory of former Prime Minister and Oslo Accords champion Yitzchak Rabin, and after falling over himself about the emotions he will experience when he visits Yad VaShem the next day, and after saying how much Abbas really wants to make peace if Israel would only let him, he will warn everyone that the alternative to a “two-state solution” is the end of Israel as a Jewish state. He will not note that Abbas’ official maps show all of Israel as “Palestine.”
Obama will try to convince Israelis that Abbas has halted incitement against Israel, without mentioning the endless honoring of suicide terrorists and ongoing PA television programs that remind viewers that Jews are the root of all evil.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama will tell each other how much they are working hand-in-hand to stop Iran from reaching nuclear capability, and who knows what they will say to each other behind doors?
Five years ago, Obama visited the Western Wall during his presidential campaign, and back home, he told Jews in the United States that Jerusalem is the “undivided capital of Israel.” The next day, a furious Arab world forced him to backtrack, and he came up with a line that he really meant it won’t be divided again as it was between 1949 and 1967, the period of the Jordanian occupation when an “apartheid” barbed wire fence kept Jews out of their former homes in the Old City.
Things have changed since then.
Every Jew living in what once was Jordanian-occupied Jerusalem is now an “illegitimate settler,” according to President Obama.
Obama probably would want to declare a “three-faith” solution for Jerusalem with a prayer at an Old City church, a solemn stand at the Western Wall again along with a tour of the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. But even an announcement that he would want to step foot in the mosque would spark a world-wide Arab demonstration against such a desecration by an infidel, who was born into a Muslim family but is a Christian.
On Friday morning, Michelle and Barack will wave good-bye to Israel after his first visit as president, and possibly his last one.
After he arrives in Washington, he can breathe a sigh of relief that the show is over, and perhaps he will get back to make sure more Americans have jobs and let the Jews and Arabs settle their own problems by themselves.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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