President Obama is set to visit Israel.
We here are rolling out the red carpet to make the best impression possible.
I wonder if the President is doing the same. Are his advisors making sure that the people of Israel get the proper respect? Are they making sure to note the historic relevance of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel?
A visit to the Israel Museum. A speech before Israelis.
But without the Western Wall? This holy site is just one of Jerusalem's landmarks for Jewish heritage throughout the ages, one deemed important for a senatorial photo op for Obama just a few years ago, when he still hankered for the Jewish vote.
And no proper head of state Knesset speech? What, afraid of hecklers? That cant be it, since we Israelis know how to be proper when necessary. It's much deeper than that, a fear of making some sort of statement supporting Israeli sovereignty, and doing so in Jerusalem of all places!
When the NYTimes calls Senator Rubio's support of Jerusalem as Israel's capitol 'provocative', we know what the media thinks. We can repeat a mantra to make it seem more real - see official logo of the upcoming presidential visit: 'Unbreakable Alliance' for some wishful thinking. We can explain away our friends' actions to make it seem more in line with our own policies. But we cant fool ourselves forever.
We'd be hard pressed to explain how, in the same month as an international, annual boycott of all Israeli products (throw away those microchip processors in every laptop, please) - the White House chose to abide by apartheid-like policies of the US State Department in turning away one singular group of Israeli students in an Israeli-recognized university - those who study in the Ariel University. Science has no borders? Think again. Apartheid? Against Jews here.
The Kotel. The Knesset. Our university. Whose pressure will the US hear when it comes to matters of state? I for one wont be simply chanting a mantra of 'unbreakable alliance'. With eyes wide open, our new government must approach with caution and wisdom, as the only true protectors of Israel's interests.
Welcome, POTUS. We share our country with you as our guest.
But Obama, we remain wary of your intentions and cues.
p.s. oh, and beware: our goodwill, despite the snubs and ill-timed visit, Jerusalem's residents are in for crazy traffic while preparing for our Passover holiday:)