TEL AVIV: With Barack Obama due to land in Israel today for a three-day official state visit, reports have emerged that the Israeli delegation helping organising the US president’s trip are planning to pack his schedule in so tightly that he simply doesn’t have time to see the West Bank.
Alongside tours around Israel, Obama is due to meet with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and also make a trip to Bethlehem. But according to insiders in Tel Aviv, Israeli authorities are hoping that they pile on the activities so much that “there just isn’t enough time to fit it all in”.
“Alongside the visits to memorials and suchlike, there’s a whole array of other stuff that hasn’t been put in the official schedule,” said a source. “And as soon as it’s time for Obama to head to the West Bank, suddenly there’ll be a trip to the zoo or a visit to a hat factory or another six-course meal laid on for him.”
Should these tactics fail to keep Obama from heading over to the Occupied Territories, other plans have been put in place to limit the president’s exposure to Palestinians.
“You know, things like the coach breaking down and us having to fly the parts in from abroad, or an arrangement we’ve got with the meteorological office to give sudden thunderstorm warnings,” said the source.
“And, of course, we’ve always got our trusty road checkpoints and border crossings to help slow things down significantly.”