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The Cost to Israel of Obama’s Visit

The cost to Israel of a visit by President Obama is likely to be as much as 10 times the cost of a visit from any other head of state.
Obama Visit to Israel in March

Obama Visit to Israel in March

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The confirmed visit to Israel by U.S. President Barack Obama for later this month is no longer a sure thing.  The trip will not go forward if Israeli Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu fails to put together a ruling coalition in advance of the announced March 20 trip date.  But if the stars align and Obama decides to go through with his current plans to visit Israel, will the cost be worth it?

The cost to Israelis who are waiting for permits for housing in certain parts of Israel has already been discussed: Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has placed a freeze on construction anywhere beyond the 1967 Armistice Line until after Obama leaves the country.

Also well known and anticipated is the pressure the U.S. president is likely to place on Israeli leadership both to return to the negotiating table in order to move forward the “peace process,” as well as to let the big boys – i.e. the U.S. and the EU – decide when, and whether, to put a complete stop to Iran’s march to nuclear weaponization.

But there is another set of costs that Israel will have to bear if Obama and his entourage make the planned but still tentative visit to Israel.

As the Israeli news outlet YNet explained, the three-day visit is expected to cost the state of Israel more than $ 2.5 million.

The greatest chunk of the cost will be in enhanced security as thousands of additional Israeli police and military officers will be stationed in an expansive, mobile cocoon surrounding Obama and his entourage at all times.  During all travel within the country, there will be helicopter as well as automobile ecorts.

As with other heads of states visits, Obama will be staying at the famous King David Hotel in Jerusalem, where entire hallways will be closed off to the general public.  For a visit of a dignitary such as the U.S. president, additional costs will be racked up in special floral arrangements, re-furbishing of furniture and other amenities at the hotel.  Extraordinary communication arrangements and the provision of emergency medical contingencies supplies will also be made available during the president’s visit.

A senior Israeli treasury official told YNet that the cost to Israel of a visit by President Obama is likely to be as much as 10 times the cost of a visit from any other head of state.  “There is no doubt the visit is worth the extra expense,” he hastened to add.

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About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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17 Responses to “The Cost to Israel of Obama’s Visit”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    Obama can't win. During the 2012 campaign, he got blasted for not having visited Israel since 2008. Now he is getting blasted for visiting now.

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    Obama can't win. During the 2012 campaign, he got blasted for not having visited Israel since 2008. Now he is getting blasted for visiting now.

  3. H Fragman Abramson says:

    Personally, new furniture will not make him like Israel or Jews. We are talking about the guy who made Israel's PM go through the back door and sit in another room while BHO ate with his family…

  4. Terry Upinthehills says:

    Obama hates Israel and he hates America. You may keep him.

  5. Terry Upinthehills says:

    Obama hates Israel and he hates America. You may keep him.

  6. It would be worth it to pay him $2 million to stay home.

  7. Anonymous says:

    what a waste having to roll out the red carpet for this buffoon.

  8. The whole world moves from trouble to trouble. Iran continues unwavering on it’s march in the development of nuclear weapons and Assad the dictator of Syria is still in power. Current intelligence seems uncertain of when Iran will get the bomb and Israel cannot afford to gamble with this. Assad of Syria looks like he may be preparing to use weapons of mass destruction against his own people and against near by nations as well and Gaza seems more like an opportunity for Hamas to reload than it does a cease fire. If this situation does not drastically change soon for the better, I believe the war in Isaiah Chapter 17 will likely take place. Damascus Syria would be destroyed. The worlds economy would likely collapse as a result and usher in a one world government movement. I wrote a small 6 page book that outlines what I believe the Bible states will take place soon. I don’t accept donations and it’s free. It’s a short read. I encourage you to have a look: http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next.

  9. Dave Wailer says:

    The Hotel accepts Visa, American Express and Mastercard. Why are the costs being brought up.

  10. We need all this security for Obama with guards yet at home in the good old USA we can't have guns to protect ourselves. Go Figure. He has to have the best and he is the worst president Ever.

  11. Writing such a column, comparing the cost of security for the U.S. president vs other officials, without also mentioning the more than 5 billion in annual aid is simply ridiculous. Of course the perceived 'most powerful man in the world' needs more security. This article is just another attempt to stir hatred without actually helping in any sort of way.

  12. JoAnn Mest says:

    When US royalty arrives get ready to pay..especially King Barack. On 2nd thought just keep him for extended trip please. norm mest

  13. Lloyd Bergner says:

    Obama: Make aliyah and stay there..you've already bankrupted the U.S.; maybe the Jews will teach you about economics.

  14. Steve Acre says:

    To Lori Lowenthal Marcus. The cost of Obama's trip to Israel of 2.5 million dollars is nothing compare to what he is going to force Israel to do. Why don't you have people like, Howar Grief, the author of The Legal Foundatio & Borders of Israel under International Law, present Mr. Obama with a copy of his book. That will save lots of meetings and discussions, because the proof is there that Isarel belongs to the Jews, under International agreement of 1920…steve.

  15. why doesn't he stay home knowing he is not wanted? I like for someone to put a Bible in his room to see if he reads it and truly is a christian as he claims to be. :-)

  16. Ruth A Lopez says:

    Holy crap, are you trying to be the stupidest hater on the internet? If so, at least you're doing that well.

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