President Barack Obama and Dr. Suleiman A.D. Al Farajat, a University of Jordan tourism professor, jump from a ledge of the Nabataean Amphitheater during a walking tour the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, March 23
President Barack Obama shakes hands during a meet and greet at the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, March 21
President Barack Obama meets National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, left, and Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, in the conference room aboard Air Force One en route to Tel Aviv, Israel, March 20
President Barack Obama greets members of Hora, a local children’s dance troupe, before departing Israeli President Shimon Peres’ residence in Jerusalem, March 20
President Barack Obama watch a dance performance at the Al-Bireh Youth Resource Development Center in Ramallah, the West Bank, March 21, 2013. Dr. Samih Al-Abed, Chairman of the Board, Al-Bireh Youth Resource Development Center, left, and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad of the Palestinian Authority are seated with the President
President Barack Obama visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, March 22, 2013. Standing with the President, from left, are: Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau; Israeli President Shimon Peres; Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu; and Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate
President Barack Obama and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority enter the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the West Bank, March 22
President Barack Obama watches as a vendor writes a name using colored sand in a bottle during a walking tour of the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, March 23
King Abdullah II of Jordan waves to President Barack Obama as he boards Air Force One at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, March 23
Haaretz: The U.S. president’s speech in Jerusalem redefines what it means to be a centrist in Israel. We deserve a leader like him. For Barack Obama to come to Jerusalem, and speak to Israeli students and talk persuasively of the possibility of a secure and peaceful future, for him to do that and garner a roaring ovation of approval, he would have to have given one hell of a speech.
He did. This was the speech that these young Israelis not only needed but wanted to hear. A speech that radically redefined centrism in Israel, bringing it down to extraordinary common denominators in directions Israelis have learned to think of as diametrically opposed.
He spoke of security and peace as inextricably and necessarily linked, not a narrow choice between options, but a conscious choice for both. They roared.
Jerusalem Post: Directing his remarks to the primarily young crowd at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, Obama urged them to push for peace, saying that only when the people demand action do the leaders act. “Peace is necessary. Indeed, it is the only path to true security,” he said, and stressed that the only way to achieve peace is through negotiations. He urged Israelis to shift from relying on defensive practices, such as the border fence and Iron Dome missile defense system, to forging permanent peace by solving the problem once and for all.
“Peace must be made among peoples, not just governments. No one step can change overnight what lies in the hearts and minds of millions. But progress with the Palestinians is a powerful way to begin, while sidelining extremists who thrive on conflict and division,” he said. He also encouraged his listeners to put themselves in the Palestinians’ shoes. “It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day.
President Obama and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad visit Al Bera Youth Center in The West Bank city of Ramallah
….. welcomed by Palestinian youth during his visit to Al Bera Youth Center in the West Bank city of Ramallah
….. greeted by a welcome message unveiled by small robots during a visit to the al-Bireh Youth Center
….. attending a dance performance during a visit to the al-Bireh Youth Center
…… welcomed by Palestinian girls during his visit to Al Bera Youth Center
President Shimon Peres and President Barack Obama embrace during a state dinner hosted by Peres in Jerusalem
Has Obama Turned A Generation Of Voters Into Lifelong Democrats?
Molly Ball: Paul Ryan had a vision for the youth vote in 2012. In his speech accepting the Republican vice-presidential nomination, the Wisconsin congressman imagined legions of recent college graduates forced to “live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.” Ryan was sure those kids had recovered from their passing Obama fever and would either stay home or vote Republican. What happened, of course, was very different. The under-30 vote went nearly as strongly for Obama as it had before: Obama got 66 percent of the under-30 vote in 2008 and 60 percent in 2012, the best youth-vote showings for any presidential candidate since 1971, when the voting age was lowered to 18.
“These are voters who are in their formative years, politically,” Joel Benenson, the lead pollster for the Obama campaign, told me excitedly in the days after the election. “People frequently maintain the partisan identity that shapes their entry point into politics. What’s happening now is something people will hang on to for decades to come.” Could Benenson be right? Has Obama turned an entire generation of voters into lifelong Democrats? The answer, according to political scientists who study partisanship, may well be yes.
All times Israeli – Jerusalem is 6 hours head of Washington, DC:
12:15 p.m.: President Obama lands at Israel’s international airport and is received with an honor guard. President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lead the welcoming committee. President Obama speaks briefly and visits an Iron Dome battery. The President then helicopters to Jerusalem.
4:00 p.m.: Peres hosts President Obama at a ceremonial welcome, followed by a working session.
5:20 p.m.: Netanyahu hosts President Obama for the trip’s most substantive talks, through the late afternoon into the evening.
8:10 p.m.: Netanyahu and President Obama hold a joint press conference, then move to a working dinner and more talks, before President Obama retires to his suite at the nearby King David Hotel.
9:00 a.m.: President Obama visits the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls, tours an exhibit showcasing Israeli innovations, and meets local high-tech entrepreneurs.
11:00 a.m.: President Obama travels to Ramallah, holds meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad, delivers an address to young Palestinians.
4:40 p.m.: President Obama delivers the key public address of his visit at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center.
5:40 p.m.: The President meets with US diplomatic staff at the American Consulate in Jerusalem. He then returns to the President’s Residence, where Netanyahu joins him and Peres. In a late addition to the schedule, a pre-dinner meeting has also been slotted in for the President and Israel’s new opposition leader, Labor party chair Shelly Yachimovich.
8:00 p.m.: Peres hosts President Obama for a state dinner where he will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Distinction.
8:40 a.m.: President Obama visits Mount Herzl and lays wreaths on the graves of Theodor Herzl and Yitzhak Rabin.
9:30 a.m.: Tours the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum.
12:00 p.m.: Visits the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
3 p.m: Says goodbye at an official send-off at the airport, with Peres leading the farewells.
Arrives Jordan, meets with King Abdullah II, holds a joint press conference. Rest of Jordan schedule to be confirmed.
10:45: Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event in Chesterfield, Virginia
(Don’t forget The View today)
1:25: President Obama departs New York City
2:35: Arrives at the White House
NYT Editorial: Mitt Romney …. told CBS News’s “60 Minutes” that he is tied with President Obama; he has a “very effective campaign; it’s doing a very good job” …. That’s an outright denial of political reality, but Mr. Romney’s willingness to stray from the truth is at the root of what’s really going on….
To some extent, Mr. Romney’s diminishing stature is because of two recent statements that revealed his deficiencies to a newly interested audience. He falsely suggested that the Obama administration was sympathetic to the violent Muslim protests in Libya and Egypt, illustrating his ignorant and opportunistic critique of foreign policy. And he was caught on video belittling nearly half the country for an overreliance on government handouts.
These moments, though, were not fumbles or gaffes. They were entirely consistent with the dismissive attitude Mr. Romney has routinely shown toward non-Americans or the non-rich….
Mr. Romney is free to pursue this shallow, cavalier campaign for six more weeks, but he shouldn’t be surprised if voters increasingly choose not to pay attention.