Obama's trip in smartphone age: PMO launches app

Obama adds Yacimovich, Church of the Nativity to his schedule as US Embassy in Israel launches contest for Obama speech tickets.

Obama smartphone 370 (photo credit: Reuters)
Obama smartphone 370
(photo credit: Reuters)
The gimmicks keep on coming.
Monday saw another attempt to promote US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel, following the US Embassy’s contest launch on Sunday to win seats to the president’s main public speech in Jerusalem. Now, there’s a smartphone app to track the visit, brought to you by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Actually, it’s an app to follow the PMO, but everything on the website next week will probably be related to the presidential visit.
According to the PMO, the app will feature “real-time updates, video, photographs and behind-the-scenes glimpses at the visit. The app is available in Hebrew and English and will soon be available in Arabic as well.” The app also features a link for contacting the Prime Minister’s Office and links for the various PMO new media channels including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
“The app is another step by the PMO National information Directorate in addition to its ongoing activities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram,” the statement said.
One government official involved in the visit said that even before Obama arrives, social media has changed the feel of the visit. Former US president George Bush arrived here in 2008, before Twitter and Instagram, so the atmospherics around his visit – the last by a US president – were significantly different, he said.
Obama is the fifth sitting US president to visit Israel, following Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. And if you want to see pictures of those visits, all you have to do is look at the PMO’s new app.
Obama will arrive on Wednesday, March 20, and leave on Friday, March 22.
The following is his tentative schedule:
March 20
· Noon arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport and brief greeting ceremony. Obama will likely inspect an Iron Dome anti-missile battery brought to the airport for the occasion · Meeting with Shimon Peres at Beit Hanasi.
· Meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister's residence.
· Press conference
· Dinner at the Prime Minister's residence
March 21
* Visit the Shrine of the Book housing the Dead Sea scrolls at the Israel Museum, and an exhibit on Israeli technological innovations designed especially for the trip.
* Five and a half hour visit to Ramallah for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
* Speech to students at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem * Reception with US Secretary of State John Kerry at the American consulate in Jerusalem
* State dinner hosted by Pres, with musical performances by Rita and David Deor.
March 22
· Wreath laying ceremony at the graves of Theodor Herzl and Yitzhak Rabin on Mount Herzl.
· Meeting with the head of the opposition, expected to be Labor's Shelly Yacimovich.
· Visit to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
· 2:00 pm -- Departure