Long before planning began for the dinner that President Reuven Rivlin will host on Wednesday night for top-level foreign dignitaries who have come to Israel to participate in the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, it was obvious that the President’s Residence is too small to properly accommodate large-scale events.To build another residence for the president while a new residence for the prime minister is under construction would be too great an expenditure when Israel is already facing a mammoth budgetary deficit. But there is plenty of room at both the back and the front of the building in the presidential compound to enable the expansion of the main hall to double its size.There is a popular myth that alterations cannot be made to the building but only to the grounds. Nonetheless, during the presidency of Ezer Weizman, the cloakroom and toilets were upgraded. During the presidency of Moshe Katsav, a patio adjacent to the main hall was enclosed and turned into a reception area. During the presidency of Shimon Peres, the small reception hall was refurnished, as were the private living quarters. The plumbing was changed, and the view-obstructing pillars in the main hall were removed.Under Rivlin, the cloakroom was remodeled, and a new entrance to the compound was constructed. So there is really no reason why the outer walls of the building cannot be moved to enable the extension of the main hall.This would certainly have saved on putting up large marquees with luxurious drapes and fake flooring to accommodate the people who are accompanying the key dignitaries and another for the security personnel.Yet a third tent has been put up at the entrance to the building to serve as a reception venue where Rivlin will receive his guests and where they will head to after dinner for the ceremonial group photo while standing on two graded platforms, before partaking of dessert.No spouses have been invited to the dinner because there is no room.The guests of honor will sit around a horseshoe-shaped table arrangement in the main hall together with Israeli dignitaries, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Israel Katz, neither of whom will deliver an address. Other than Rivlin, the only Israeli speaker will be Prof. Yehuda Bauer, a historian famous for being historically correct but not always politically correct.Bauer actually delights in causing consternation.At a press tour of the President’s Residence on Sunday, which was much better attended than a press tour of the King David Hotel last week, several journalists wanted to know why King Felipe VI of Spain was chosen to speak on behalf of the dignitaries.No one at the President’s Residence could pinpoint exactly why, other than to say there is a long and special relationship between Spain and the Jewish people. However, one of Felipe’s many titles is King of Jerusalem, which stems from the period of the conquest of the Holy City by the Crusades in 1099.Some of the dignitaries are arriving in Israel ahead of time, and some are staying beyond the Forum gathering. Rivlin will meet approximately 20 of them for half-hour bilateral talks that will begin on Tuesday and conclude on Sunday. The first meeting will be with Australian Governor-General David Hurley.Following the final bilateral meeting, Rivlin will travel to Poland to participate in the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on the site of the death camp.In 2018, Rivlin led the March of the living in Auschwitz-Birkenau together with Polish President Andrzej Duda.The Forum event has inadvertently served the interests of the Palestinians as well, as several of the visiting dignitaries will also meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, saving the 84-year-old Palestinian leader, who is not in the best of health, the trouble of visiting them in their countries.It has been customary in the past for some world figures to plant an olive tree in the back garden of the President’s Residence. Prince Charles will plant an oak tree, because when his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, came to Israel in 1984 for a Yad Vashem ceremony honoring his mother, Princess Alice, the Duke had planted an oak tree and visited her grave at the Convent of St. Mary Magdelene on the Mount of Olives.Charles will be emulating his father, albeit at a different site. When he was previously in Israel, Charles also visited his grandmother’s grave, and Prince William later followed the family tradition.Several visiting heads of state, in addition to their meetings with Rivlin, have scheduled meetings with Netanyahu.Just as the President’s Residence was bustling with workers moving equipment into the grounds on Sunday, so was the Prime Minister’s residence, a five-minute walk away.During the press tour, it was hoped that Rivlin would come out for a moment to greet the members of the Fourth Estate. Unfortunately, there was not a single head of state among them. In addition, the president was still trying to avert a post-March 2 continuation of the political crisis that has plagued the nation for the past year.