Israelis won't see any visiting foreign leaders in Jerusalem

High barricades and security checkpoints placed along the streets surrounding the President's Residence ensure that not even Rivlin's next door neighbors will have any luck seeing foreign dignitaries.

PREPARING THE flags at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem for next week’s arrival of world leaders.  (photo credit: SHLOMI AMSALEM)
PREPARING THE flags at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem for next week’s arrival of world leaders.
(photo credit: SHLOMI AMSALEM)
With very few exceptions, the Israel public will not get any in-the-flesh sighting of the visiting royals or heads of state and government who will be in Israel this week. The only way they will see them is on their television, computer or cellphone screens.
On Monday, barricades on both sides of the street outside the President’s Residence, as well as on some side streets, were already in place, along with several tents for security checks.
The barriers erected opposite the President’s Residence were very high and lined with tarpaulin to prevent passersby from gawking at the guests. Only those who invited to dine at President Reuven Rivlin’s table on Wednesday night will see them.
The most high-ranking VIPs will not even be seen by Rivlin’s neighbors who live on the top floors of their apartment buildings, because the motorcades escorting them into the grounds will not stop within viewing distance but will take the honorees to the entrance of the reception tent by the pergola at the end, away from the entrance gates.
Down the road at the King David Hotel, where most of the dignitaries are staying, high, tarpaulin-lined barricades stretch the whole length of the building. In addition, there will be regular waist-high barricades along the rest of the street, including outside the David Citadel Hotel, where President Vladimir Putin will be staying. Some of those barriers may be replaced over the next 24 hours.
Other than officialdom, and the few approved journalists doing live coverage of VIP events, the only people who will get a close-up look or, perhaps, a handshake with any of the VIPs are expatriate immigrants from any specific hosting country whose ambassador makes a reception or other event for that country’s head of delegation. That also happens whenever a single monarch, prince, princess, president, prime minister or foreign minister comes to Israel.
This is the season when Israelis and religiously observant Jews pray for rain. But at the President’s Residence, there is a fervent prayer by all involved in arrangements for Wednesday night’s dinner that there will be no rain and that temperatures will be comfortably warm.