Well, its about time nu.
And now is appropriate to bring up the infamous Zohar: Gog will visit Israel three times; between the 2nd and 3rd times intense Din will erupt - such that it will lead to the demise of Gog.
This is Obama's 2nd visit, so he's "practically mishpacha." Let the games begin.
Both the White House and the Prime Minister's Office said Tuesday that President Obama had spoken with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in January about a presidential visit to Israel this spring, which would be the first since Obama assumed the White House in 2009.
“The start of the President’s second term and the formation of a new Israeli government offer the opportunity to reaffirm the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel and to discuss the way forward on a broad range of issues of mutual concern,” said White House spokesman Tommy Vietor.
He pointed to Iran and Syria but did not mention the Palestinians.
The trip, however, is widely seen as an effort by Obama to kick-start a moribund peace process between Israelis and Palestinians amidst other roiling regional concerns, such as the Arab Spring and Iran nuclear program.
Vietor said further details about the trip, including the dates, would be released at a later time.
Israeli media reports, however, have identified late March as the expected arrival time. Channel 10 reported that the visit will take place as part of a regional tour also expected to take Obama to Ankara, Riyadh, Cairo and Ramallah.
Obama came under a great deal of criticism for not visiting Israel during his first term, something which many believe would reassure a jittery Israeli public of his support, even though he did visit countries nearby such as Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He was last here as a presidential candidate in 2008.
Since Obama will come here, it is less likely that Netanyahu will travel to Washington for the annual AIPAC policy conference in early March, an opportunity Israeli prime minister's usually use to meet with the US president.
That visit, however, was already in doubt because of the possibility that Netanyahu may not have a new government in place by the conference, which begins March 3.
Tzipi Livni, who relentlessly slammed Netanyahu during the election campaign for poisoning ties with the US, issued a statement welcoming the visit, saying Israel-US ties were an important element of Israel's national security. Livni, whose party is currently in talks with Likud Beytenu about joining the coalition, said she hoped Netanyahu and Obama would re-start the diplomatic process which serves both Israeli and US interests.
Meanwhile, new US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to make his first visit to Israel in his new role sometime next week.