President’s limo ‘The Beast’ breaks down in Israel
It can withstand biochemical attacks and a barrage of gunfire but apparently not a drop of diesel fuel.President Barack Obama’s customized Cadillac limousine often referred to as “The Beast” was photographed on the back of a flat-bed hauler in Israel today. Israeli press is reporting someone mistakenly filled the vehicle with diesel fuel, which caused the breakdown.The Times of Israel reports:“The Americans filled it up with diesel, rather than petrol,” reports Channel 2 — stressing that it was the Americans, not the Israelis.Unsurprisingly, the car wouldn’t start.The president, visiting Israel today, was not in the limo when it broke down. The car was waiting at the airport to take the president to his various stops around the country. Organizers reportedly just learned of the malfunction before the president arrived. A replacement vehicle is being brought in from Jordan
‘Our strongest ally and your greatest friend’: Obama arrives in Israel for historic visit – his first since becoming President
- US President Barack Obama makes his first trip to Israel of his presidency
- Peace talks are high on agenda, while other topics include Syria and Iran
- All eyes on Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as the two leaders are known to have a rocky relationship
- Israelis are already infuriated by the trip as it comes just days before Passover and Obama’s security protocols shut down much of Jerusalem
President Barack Obama arrived in Israel this morning for his first visit to the region since taking office in 2008, and upon touchdown he called the U.S. Israel’s ‘strongest ally and your greatest friend.’
The kind words were traded on both sides, as Israeli President Shimon Peres welcomed Obama, declaring that ‘A world without America’s leadership, without her moral voice, would be a darker world.
‘A world without your friendship, would invite aggression against Israel.’
The important trip to Israel had its first hiccup before he even arrived as his limo broke down after the driver put gas in the tank instead of diesel
The new Israeli government will use Barack Obama’s visit to Jerusalem this week as an opportunity “to show our gratitude to the American people”, said Binyamin Netanyahu before being sworn in for a third term as prime minister on Monday.
“Obama’s visit will be an opportunity to thank him,” Netanyahu said after warning that Israel faced “enormous threats” in the region and pledging to “guarantee the future of the Jewish people by guaranteeing the future of the state of Israel, the root of our existence”.
The government was sworn in almost eight weeks after the election on 22 January, and just two days before Obama is due to arrive in Israel for his first visit as president.
Complex negotiations over the composition of the coalition resulted in a government characterised as more centrist than its predecessor. However, it is still highly resistant to concessions to the Palestinians in order to reach a two-state solution to the decades-long conflict.
The defence minister, Moshe Ya’alon, said he opposed making any gestures to the Palestinians, such as a freeze on settlement construction or the release of prisoners, to encourage a return to talks. The conflict must be “managed” rather than brought to an end by the creation of a Palestinian state, he argued.
Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Jewish Home party and another key figure in the new government, has said there must never be a Palestinian state.
Avigdor Lieberman, who is expected to return as foreign minister if he is acquitted in his forthcoming fraud trial, reiterated his view that a peace deal was impossible and that anyone who believed otherwise was “delusional”.
Other key members of the government include former TV presenter Yair Lapid, the surprise star of January’s election, as finance minister, settlers’ champion Uri Ariel as housing minister, and Tzipi Livni, leader of the six-strong centrist Hatnua party, as justice minister.
The White House has been careful to set low expectations for Obama’s three-day visit, which starts on Wednesday, during which he will be accompanied by John Kerry, the new secretary of state.
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