Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is looking for a fun and casual activity to be photographed with US President Joe Biden during his visit to Israel next month.
Like former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-president Barack Obama with their suit jackets slung over their shoulders, blue ties billowing in the wind on the tarmac of Ben-Gurion Airport, or Netanyahu and Indian President Narendra Modi dipping their bare feet in the Mediterranean Sea, Bennett is seeking his own iconic photo with Biden.
One option Bennett has considered, thinking that Biden would be game, is for them to roll up their shirt sleeves for a favorite activity of Israeli and American dads: barbecuing.
Whether the mangal, as Israelis call a barbecue, would take place at the Bennett family home in Ra’anana or some other location while the official Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem is not in use, was unclear.
Biden’s agenda includes other stops off the path beaten by previous US presidents.
When the White House announced the trip, it noted that Biden worked with Congress to secure $1 billion to replenish the Iron Dome missile defense system, and that the president “will likely visit an area where these defensive systems are utilized.”
Biden will likely visit an Iron Dome battery at the Palmahim airbase, Walla reported.
The Defense Ministry also plans to present its “Iron Beam” laser interception system project while the president is in Palmahim. The system is meant to shoot down rockets, missiles and drones, and the ministry is seeking funding for the project, discussing the matter with the Pentagon.
The president also plans to visit Makassed Hospital, the largest Palestinian medical center in Jerusalem. He will do so unaccompanied by Israeli officials, which could be viewed as not recognizing Israel’s sovereignty in that part of the city, near the historic Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.