Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her husband Todd concluded their brief first visit to Israel on Monday by meeting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at his official residence in Jerusalem.
Ahead of the meeting, Netanyahu’s office checked with Palin to see whether they could expand it to a full reception for her with other politicians and aides, but she politely declined.
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In an effort to keep her visit as private as possible, Palin also declined all requests for interviews and did her best to avoid the media as she toured the Mount of Olives and Christian sites in Jerusalem on Monday.
Palin was due to leave Israel early Tuesday morning.
In private conversations, she vowed to return soon – for a full week – and said she would meet with more politicians and the media then.
J Street officials, who are in Israel for a meeting of the Knesset
Diaspora Affairs Committee, complained on Monday that Netanyahu had
refused a request to meet with them but had chosen to meet with Palin.
left-wing American lobby’s president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, said he had
wanted to meet with Netanyahu “to introduce ourselves and explain how we
can work together as allies.”
Ben-Ami wrote in a letter that
“while the Prime Minister doesn’t have time to meet a movement that now
represents over 170,000 pro- Israel, pro-peace supporters, he has time
to host Sarah Palin for dinner.”