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Count Down to Obama Visit

As the days are being counted down to the Obama visit to Jerusalem, Israel, US officials are taking to the streets to explain US policy.

Jerusalem cafe, US Keith Nobel , preparation for Obama visit

Keith Noble came from Tel Aviv to speak (in English) about US positions and answer questions on Middle East outside a cafe on Azza Street.

Perhaps this neighborhood was selected, as it will be shut down when streets are blocked off during the Official US Presidential visit.

Not a bad idea to start making some friends now.


26 thoughts on “Count Down to Obama Visit”

  1. Politically savvy I will recognize, but what is your take on Obama basically giving the finger to Bennet and the Settlers by refusing to speak at the Knesset and refusing admission to the kids from Ariel University.

    I guess that even Bennet at this point has given up on hope of a totally Israeli Judea and Samaria, but the attitude of the Likes of Obama by refusing to acknowledge Israel rights and justifying Jordanian aggression is what is needed to set the stage for talking about the “1947 borders” and giving Haifa to Abu Mazen, because all of Israel are “Colonizing ebil Europeans”.

    1. Bush spoke at the Knesset when he was here, took photo of his limo going by on Ramban Street. No cars were allowed to park or go, and no one was allowed to walk…for hours before and during. This time streets will be closed and not even a visit to Knesset? Does that say volumes?

  2. I expect that Obama will be well-received by most Israelis. I recognize that Obama would not be the choice for U.S. president of most Israelis, but then we don’t get to pick your leaders either. And I can assure everyone on this site that the agenda and itinerary for Obama’s visit is not established unilaterally by the Americans. There has been significant input from the Netanyahu Administration. So let’s just ease back and enjoy each others’ company during this historic event, ok?

    1. No, he will not be “well-received by most Israelis”. He will be “well-received” by secular Leftists, a minority of the population, and a shrinking one at that. Of the majority of the population, most will receive him with, at best, indifference.

      He has not made friends by refusing to speak at the Knesset or by boycotting Ariel University. Many Israelis perceive the first as cowardly and the second as insulting.

      His timing leaves a lot to be desired, too. Just before Pesach, most of us are very busy with preparing for the Holiday and the traffic jams the visit will cause are just what we do NOT need. Many Israelis perceive the timing of his visit as a sign of either his appalling ignorance of or his utter contempt for Israel.

      1. It’s not just Obama, JF. Most of the rest of the world sees things a lot differently than you do when it comes to the West Bank. But even friends differ now and then. And Obama is Israel’s friend, whether you want to acknowledge it or not. Stay inside and prepare a nice beef brisket while Obama’s in Israel. Everyone will feel a lot a better as a result.

        1. Dear Jimbo,

          1. The timing of Obama’s visit, as I mentioned above and you ignored, demonstrates he is not Israel’s friend.

          2. His treatment of Ariel demonstrates he is not Israel’s friend.

          3. His complete and utter unwillingness to put any pressure on Abbas to compromise demonstrates he is not Israel’s friend.

          4. His complete and utter unwillingness to put any pressure on Erdogan to stop demonizing Israel demonstrates he is not Israel’s friend.

          5. His complete and utter unwillingness to publicly say that it is unacceptable in a country that calls itself democratic to have a president in the 8th year of a 4 year term demonstrates he is not Israel’s friend.

          7. His complete and utter unwillingness to even complain about the PA’s constant incitement to Judeophobic hatred in all official and semi-official media outlets, especially those aimed at children, demonstrates he is not Israel’s friend.

          How many more proofs of unfriendship do you want me to provide?

          I will, out of courtesy, ignore your insulting remark about “go back to your cooking”.

          1. I suspect most of the reasons you’ve given for criticizing Obama’s planned visit to Israel next week have nothing to do with Passover and everything to do with your policy differences. That’s fair. I’m not too crazy about Prime Minister Netanyahu myself. But the trip is still a good idea and it’s timing was accepted by the Israeli government.

            You have no idea what the Obama Administration has said to either Erdogan or Abbas in private. Obama is leading the world in putting forth pro-Israel policies for the last four years. Obama has been entirely consistent with past American administrations on its treatment of Israel. If you’ve got a problem with Obama, then you really have a problem with American foreign policy.

            I meant no offense by suggesting that you in engage in other productive activities to get your mind off the Obama visit. I love beef brisket, personally.

            1. Dear Jimbo,

              Assertion is not proof. You say “Obama is good for Israel” – but you provide no evidence.

              You can repeat the mantra “Obama’s policies are pro-Israel” until the cows come home. This does not make Obama pro-Israel.

              I give you concrete examples of ways in which Obama’s policies are definitely not pro-Israel; you respond, not with examples of how he is pro-Israel, but by repeating the mantra “Obama is pro-Israel” and saying, swell, we don’t know what Obama might be saying in private. What he might possibly have hinted at in private doesn’t count, unless it has effects in public.

              To use a metaphor, the chief of police of a small town inviting the local head of the Mafia to have a cup of tea with him will not prove him willing to stand up to the Mafia to the shopkeepers in town who are getting beaten up if they don’t pay enough “protection”. His friends can say all they want about how he talked sternly to the Mafia head in private. They can say all they want about how pro-business he is, But until there is some action on the ground – until, at the very minimum, the about of beating-up goes down, the shopkeepers (and anyone else of sense) will be unconvinced.

              You want me to believe that Obama is pro-Israel? I’m from Missouri. Prove it.

              And stop talking about cooking. It only proves your abysmal ignorance of Judaism – and Pesach – if you think the important part of Pesach is the cooking. Or that beef brisket is a traditional Pesach food.

              1. I’ve listed several examples of Obama’s pro-Israel actions and policies over the years on this site. I’m not going to repeat myself yet again. And I was under the impression that the Passover seder was not an insignificant event in the lives of many observant Jews. I only hope that you have a joyful one with your family in Israel, with or without beef brisket.

                1. I can see only two explanations for your reply above:

                  1. You have no evidence that will stand up to intelligent scrutiny.

                  2. You are arrogant enough and discourteous enough to expect occasional readers of this blog to remember every word that flows from your keyboard – or to waste their time reading months worth of talkbacks that really do not interest them.

                  To explain in words of one syllable: Obama leaves on the 23rd. The Seder is the night of the 25th. Although the meal is an important part of the Seder, it is not the main part of the Seder. The vast majority of us will NOT be cooking for Seder during Obama’s visit. We will be cleaning for Pesach. I suggest you look up on the Internet why this is done and what it entails. We will also be buying food for Pesach. Again, I suggest you look up what is done and why.

                  1. If the timing of Obama’s visit is such a deep affront to religious Jews in Israel, then your problem really is with Netanyahu who was integral to its planning, not just Obama. But as I said before (sorry for the repetition), I think you would criticize Obama for any reason you might manage to think up.

                    I suspect we’ve now exhausted one another’s patience. So I’ll be on my way. Hope things work out for you in your own little world.

        2. Jim there is no such place as the West Bank of Jordan, it is Judea and Samaria.

          Brisket as it is called in the US, and Salt Beef everywhere else in the world is not a traditional Passover food.

          1. As you might have already guessed, I am not Jewish. But I have been led to believe by any number of American Jews, that a very tender, succulent beef brisket is very often the main dish at a Passover seder. But come to think of it, most of the American Jews I have known over the years are not particularly religious, so there’s that to consider. In any event, thanks for the information and I hope your Passover is a joyous one down there in Australia, Shirl.

            1. No offence intended to American Jews Jim, and I hope I don’t get attacked, but much of Judaism in the US, is very unlike that elsewhere in the Diaspora. I freak at times at things I hear about the weird and wacky forms of it there.

              I was quite appalled in Israel last year when on a tour I found a family with three teenage children who had no idea what a kibbutz was. !!

              Fortunately in this country we are very traditional/Modern Orthodox and Orthodox in the main.
              Per capita we are the largest donors of money to Israel. We have the largest number of people making Aliyah. We have the lowest rate of intermarriage. We also have more children attending Jewish day school than anywhere in the world, outside of Israel that is. Some 65% to be exact and that is all private education.

              The school my daughter teaches at is the largest in Australia and has just under 2,000 children ranging from 3 to 18. That’s a large number considering the Jewish population of Sydney is around 43,000

              I can’t think of a festival where salt beef is the traditional food.

    2. The “Historical Moment” can have it with Goat in the Kashmir pass for all I care.

      The only thing historical about this is that :

      1- It took Obama so long to visit Israel.
      2- That Obama is black, which I don’t give a flying crap about and would only impress 3 years old.

      This whole “lets celebrate the historical moment” nonsense is partially why we have the big eared idiot as president : it is the historic moment to have a black president, so lets vote for the Donkey !

    3. Israeli officials will talk the talk about eternal friendship knowing that Obama’s Middle East misadventures are a greater threat to Israel’s neighbors and to American interests themselves than to Israel. These officials might even agree to a settlement freeze for a specified duration as one more incentive to get peace talks going again. When the desired results fail to materialize, Israel will once more be in good shape with respect to its American relationship.

  3. It would be interesting to hear these “US officials” explain “US policy” that this prez neither honors nor understands. Feh!

    1. Well he is coming and the vast majority of population will not make any trouble when he is here. Security will be the most intense ever, so that should be interesting indeed.

  4. I am not sure how one photo caused such a rift, but since I lived in US, Canada and Australia, I can clear of one beef. (Pun intended) 1. Brisket is indeed a popular Jewish holiday food in US and Canada. One kosher butcher in Vancouver used to panic every year before Passover and Rosh Hashanah, when he would get so many requests for kosher brisket from people who did not keep anything else all year long. 2. The phone rang shortly before our first holiday season after arriving in Australia, a busy friend had stopped everything to call and say, “Sharon you want a bolar.” “Huh,” was my articulate response. I had NO idea what I was ordering, but told the butcher that I wanted a bolar. What a wonderful cut of roast beef it was, and after we had it regularly for special times.
    3. And now in Israel, I learned to ask the butcher for #3 (back to brisket).
    Wouldn’t it be nice if it was that easy to clear up misunderstandings in the middle east and families….

    1. Hey, let’s not get into a fight.!!

      Sure salt beef is popular for Roshashona/Yom Kippur. I don’t think it is a traditional food for any festival. I make it in advance and freeze it. We always have it cold with salads to break the fast.

      Brisket is the only way to go. The best.

      Pickled Bola only came on the scene here a few years back and it is nowhere near as tasty as brisket.

      Salt Beef cooked the proper Jewish way from the shtetl. Latkes, again cooked the proper Jewish way from the shtetl with no flour or matzo meal, some potato flour where necessary. Eaten with red cabbage cooked the traditional Hungarian way, even though I am of Polish/Russian origin. We have a Russian deli where they make their own traditional pickled cucumbers. Yum !

      Chag Pesach Kasher v’Sameach to all, or Happy Easter if you aren’t Jewish

  5. Re the running dialogue twixt J F & Jim from Iowa;

    J F, you see the quandry – a lot of folks in the USA refuse to acknowledge facts when it comes to defending the anti-Israel policies of the current administration, Jim from Iowa happens to post on this site and is a prime example.
    These same people who are pro Israel & anti-terrorism – inexplicably, a whole lot of Americans of Jewish descent – will go to the mat and then the voting booth and enable the anti-Israeli side of the aisle.
    Otherwise nice law abiding citizens who define insanity, doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result.

  6. What is the big deal getting ready for Pesuch? Obama will be a nuisance being in the middle of it.

    Nachteker tug!!
    Yiddish – Big deal. Forget it. Get over it !!

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