That Dan Shapiro has to say this speaks volumessay this speaks volumes about the acrimonious state of US-Israel relations in the Age of Obama.
US President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Jerusalem - the first of its kind since he entered the White House in 2009 - will be without precondition, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Israel Radio on Wednesday morning.
Obama will discuss three main issues with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: restarting the peace process with the Palestinians, the Iranian nuclear program and the civil war in Syria and the risks it poses to Israel, Shapiro told Israel Radio.
"President Obama very much respects the Israeli political process," he said. "He won't intervene in elections or coalition talks, and he will arrive after a new government is formed. They agreed that the start of his second term and the new Israeli government will be a good time for him to come and renew the deep connection that is ongoing between Israel and the US."
Shapiro added that Obama is coming without preconditions, but rather as in the framework of consultation on all issues facing both Israel and the United States.Yes, there are already rumors going around that President Obama is coming here to try to thwart Netanyahu's efforts to form a new government.
As I wrote last night, I believe that the trip's timing is connected to Passover (Pesach) and the hope that most Israelis will have better things to do with their time than to come out and demonstrate against Obama.
If Obama really wants to repair his relations with Israel, he should drop the 'Palestinians' until they are ready to come to the table without preconditions. But Obama has shown absolutely no willingness to drop the 'Palestinians' to date. He is only interested in pressuring Israel.
And a bold prediction: This will be Obama's last trip to Israel as President. I don't believe he's going to accomplish anything he wants to accomplish.
But what will happen to Obama's Passover seder this year?