Former Alaska Governor and Republican Sarah Palin arrived for her first visit to Israel. Palin exited the lounge wearing black pants and jacket and responded to a reporter’s question that this is her first visit to Israel.
Reporter: This is you first time here?
Just a short while later, Palin already arrived at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. She arrived accompanied by heavy security, with many journalist awaiting her arrival.
Former American vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin expressed support for Jews praying openly on the Temple Mount on a visit to the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday, officials who accompanied Palin said.
Palin and her husband Todd arrived for a two-day visit on Sunday afternoon and toured the Western Wall and its adjacent tunnels. They will visit the Old City again on Monday, tour Gesthsemane and the Mount of Olives, and have dinner with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at their official residence in Jerusalem.
World Likud chairman Danny Danon and Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz served as Palin’s tour guides on Sunday night. Palin was told that Jews were not allowed to pray openly on the Temple Mount and about the Arab riots that accompanied Netanyahu’s decision to authorize the creation of an exit from the Western Wall tunnels in 1996.
“Why are you apologizing all the time?” Palin asked her guides.
Palin expressed regret that she would not be able to visit Nazareth or Bethlehem on her brief stay in Israel. She promised that she would soon come back for longer.
“It’s overwhelming to be able to see and touch the cornerstone of our faith,” Palin told reporters upon exiting the tunnels. “I’m so thankful to be able to be here, and I’m thankful to know the Israel American link connection will grow and strengthen as the peace negotiations will continue.”
Rabinowitz said that Palin prayed at the point closest to the Holy of Holies
and left a note with a personal prayer. Unlike when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama visited the Western Wall in July 2008, no one removed her note from the wall and gave it to the press.
“She said that she absolutely supports Israel and that America is the biggest friend that Israel has,” Rabinowitz said.
When Rabinowitz shared the story of Purim with Palin, she told him it was especially meaningful to be at the Kotel on Purim.
Danon said that Palin’s visit to the Western Wall Tunnels was very exciting. He called upon Obama to make his first visit to Israel as president as soon as possible.
“She really connected to the story of the Jewish nation,” Danon said. “She knows the material but there’s nothing like standing in front of those big stones and hearing about the connection. I know that she loves Israel, and after a visit like this, she has a personal connection to the Western Wall.”
Palin, who was wearing a large Star of David, told Danon that she had flags of Israel “on my desk, in my home, all over the place” and that she would carry around a flag she bought in Israel.
“She didn’t go into diplomatic issues, but I can clearly say from the questions she asked in relation to our conflict here with the Muslims in these holY sites that she knows that we are right and that the Muslims are just claiming things for provocation and they’re not right,” Danon said.
[Governor] Palin has arrived in Jerusalem today wearing a Star of David necklace as she expressed her solidarity with Israel.
The former Alaska governor is on a trip that has raised speculation she is honing her foreign policy credentials ahead of a run for the U.S. presidency next year.
Governor Palin and Todd, arrive at Ben Gurion airport earlier today – March 20 2011 – AP
Governor Palin arrives at the Western Wall tunnels in Jerusalen’s Old City this afternoon wearing a Star of David necklace – March 20 2011 -Reuters
Israeli MK Danny Danon accompanies Governor Palin to the Western Wall and it’s caves – March 20 2011
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rabbi of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, accompanies Governor Palin to the Western Wall
We will update this post as more news/images comes in tonight.
WND’s Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein will be a guest tomorrow on Fox and Friends. Klein will appear on a segment at 7:50 a.m. Eastern to discuss the latest developments in Libya as well as Sarah Palin’s visit today to Israel.