When President Barack Obama visits Israel later this month, he plans not to visit two important places: the Western Wall and the Knesset.
"President Obama plans to visit the Church of the Nativity, but not the Western Wall, when he travels to Israel next week. He will speak at Jerusalem’s convention center, but not before the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament. And he will inspect a mobile missile-defense battery, though not one in the field, where they protect Israel from enemy rockets," reports the New York Times.
"These, and a host of other scheduling decisions, have been made by the White House as it seeks to orchestrate every minute of Mr. Obama’s first visit to Israel as president. But before he even departs, Mr. Obama is confronting the reality that in a land so freighted with symbolism, any place he chooses to visit, or not visit, can strike a nerve."
Last time Obama was in Israel, when he was a U.S. senator and a candidate the first time around for president of the United States, he visited the Western Wall. He was heckled then.
As ABC reported at the time:
President Bush spoke at the Knesset, as did President Clinton years before that. Obama does not plan to visit the Israeli knesset.