Monday, July 12, 2010

Israel "not on Obama's books"

President Barack Obama will probably not travel to Israel this year, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday.

The announcement came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Obama to visit the Jewish state following a Tuesday meeting between the two leaders at the White House.

Asked if the president accepted Netanyahu's invitation, Gibbs said "We do not have currently on our schedule travel plans to go there. But he obviously — Prime Minister Netanyahu extended an invitation, and I assume at some point the president and the first lady will visit. It's just not on the books for this year."

On the other hand, "Gibbs noted "the president certainly traveled [to Israel] during the campaign, traveled there while he was a senator."

That final statement says it all - - one message on Israel as a candidate, and another as president.

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