Sarah Palin 311 Reuters.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will come to Israel for the first
time this weekend following a speech in India on Saturday, Palin said in a
statement on Thursday.
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In their two-day visit, Palin and her husband Todd
intend to pack in tours of Jerusalem’s Old City and Nazareth, as well as
meetings with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the chairman of World Likud,
MK Danny Danon, who is close to Republican officials. She also may visit Masada,
the Western Wall tunnels, and Christian sites in Bethlehem.
to be able to travel to Israel on my way back to the US,” Palin said. “As the
world confronts sweeping changes and new realities, I look forward to meeting
with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the key issues facing his country, our
Palin had been planning a longer visit for more than a
year, and she still is. Sources with knowledge of her plans called the current
trip “an appetizer” for a more official visit later in the year.
candidate for the Republican nomination for president, Palin’s visit
in the footsteps of other expected candidates like Mitt Romney, Mike
Huckabee, Haley Barbour and Rudolph Giuliani, who all met with
Netanyahu during their respective visits.
Palin’s meeting with Netanyahu
is expected to take place Monday night. An official in Netanyahu’s office said
that Netanyahu understands well the importance of meeting US politicians, and
makes every effort to meet them, regardless of party affiliation.
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kept an Israeli flag in her office when she was governor of Alaska. She has been
a frequent critic of US President Barack Obama’s policies on Israel.
Jewish settlements should be expanded upon because the population will continue
to grow,” she said in a recent interview. “The Obama administration does not
have the right to tell them not to grow.”
In a Facebook post last year,
Palin wrote that “as Israel makes concessions (and is still criticized by the
Obama Administration), Arab leaders are just sitting back waiting for the White
House to further pressure Israel. The Obama Administration needs to open its
eyes and recognize that it is only Iran and her terrorist allies that benefit
from this manufactured Israeli controversy.”
Palin will be coming at a
time when her poll numbers in the US are on a steep decline. A Bloomberg
National Poll conducted from March 4-7 found that 60 percent of the US public
has either a “mostly unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” opinion of
An ABC News/Washington Post poll released Wednesday found that her
numbers among Republican and Republicanleaning voters have dropped
According to this poll, 58% of voters in this category view
here favorably, a 30% drop from the 88% favorable rating she had right after
Sen. John McCain picked her as his running mate in 2008.
Obama has faced
criticism for not visiting Israel since becoming president. His associates have
said on multiple occasions that he was waiting for when a visit could make the
“By the time Obama comes, it will be too late to matter,”
“Obama needs to worry that the Republican leadership is
coming here while he has only visited Arab countries since becoming president. I
have no doubt that this could impact the 2012 election.”Lahav Harkov
contributed to this report
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