Friday, March 22, 2013

Goodbye, President Obama, and thanks!


In addition to the Greenpeace protest atop the Bridge of Strings that I showed you in yesterday's post, there was this smaller sign under the bridge.
At the table was a man on hunger strike urging President Obama to free Jonathan Pollard,  who has been in prison since 1987.

Obama visited the graves of Herzl and Rabin at Mt. Herzl this morning.
Then his motorcade took this road down to Yad Vashem.
The street was decorated with many American and Israeli flags.

Toward noon the sunny weather changed into a windy yellow dust storm.
Plans changed just as quickly.
Instead of helicoptering to the Church of the Nativity, they drove to Bethlehem, a short ride from Jerusalem.

Obama's 51-hour visit in Israel ended after 4:00, and the President flew over to Jordan.

They say he came to win the hearts of the Israeli people, to work his magic on us, to "enchant" us.
I think it happened!

I wonder if the sand storm was a sign of the  "winds of change."

Just after Obama was airborne, we heard about his first dramatic success in changing things:
At the airport Obama telephoned Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, passed the phone to PM Netanyahu, and a reconciliation between Israel and Turkey was achieved!

May it be the first of more good surprises.
UPDATE, Saturday: Times of Israel has put together a nice "The defining words and pictures" summary of Obama's three days in Israel.   You can see the 21 pics in a slideshow.


Hels said...

That must have been a very powerful call to the Turkish prime minister... most negotiations take months and years, not one telephone call. Well done! I hope it works.

Cloudia said...

Change can sometimes be joyous and inspiring instead of dark and foreboding. I was touched by the President's time with the students-

Shalom from Honolulu

~ > < } } ( ° > <3

Kay said...

No kidding? That's wonderful! I'm so glad his visit was more or less successful.

Dina said...

Helen, we hear today how the negotiations had been cooking for the few days that Obama was here. Then came the clincher just as he was about to fly away, the phone call to Erdogan.
Sometimes it takes just one "responsible adult" to step in and bring a normalization of relations.
The renewal of normal ties between Turkey and Israel is certainly in America's interest.

Cloudia, we were all touched. They are saying Obama's speech to the students will go down in history.
Thanks that you published the highlights in your blog

Kay, the visit was very successful. Only now are we beginning to realize how much was accomplished.

Birdman said...

I guess the Big O- was quite a hit. There were some quotable quotes.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Yes he can! I am a believer. Thank you for sharing this.

RuneE said...

Let us hope that something good finally happens with the situation in the Middle East. It is about time.

PS Thank you for the comment(s). They managed to put out the fire during the night, mainly due to the helicopters. It is very dry here at the moment (cold and no snow)

Pietro Brosio said...

I'm glad Obama's visit has been successful. Surely, "winds of change" are essential and welcome.

Spiderdama said...

Wonderful post Dina!

I had to go back to look at your pictures from the bridge.
They are so cool and great angles:-)