Sporting what appears to be a necklace with the Jewish symbol of a Star of David, the Alaska resident visited the Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray.
She also toured Jerusalem’s Old City and is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.
“Israel is absolutely beautiful and it is overwhelming to see and touch the cornerstone of our faith and I am so grateful to be here,” the devout Christian told reporters. “I’m very thankful to know that the Israeli and American link will grow in strength as we seek peace along with you.”
Despite meeting with the country’s leader, she is technically traveling as a private citizen and has been coy about whether she hopes to be traveling as something other than that come 2012.
“I don’t think there needs to be a rush to get out there as a declared candidate,” she said earlier this week. “It’s a life-changing decision.”
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 and Likud MK 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....
“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 connection will grow and strengthen as the peace negotiations continue.”
Rabinowitz said that Palin prayed at the point closest to the Holy of Holies and left a note with a personal prayer....“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.
“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.
“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.
Israel National News:
MK Danny Danon (Likud) and Kotel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich accompanied Palin on a tour of the Kotel and Kotel Tunnels.
Danon asked Palin to try and convince world audiences that the blame for lack of progress on a peace agreement should be shifted to the PA's Mahmoud Abbas. "A leadership that churns out people who are capable of slitting children's throats as they sleep is the one that needs to prove that peace can be made with it. [U.S. President Barack] Obama's pressure on Netanyahu hurts Israel and its citizens," he added.
Palin began her trip by visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem, where she met with the Rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinovitch, who escorted her on part of her a tour.
Rabinovitch said Palin obliged his request to not walk along the Western Wall square so as to not disturb the reading of the scrolls at the time.
Rabinovitch mentioned that Palin shared her views on United States-Israel relations, saying she believes there are no disagreements between the two countries. She also voiced her "absolute" support of Israel.
"We're happy to accommodate Jews and non-Jews visiting the Western Wall. You could feel Palin's love towards the people of Israel and her great interest in the story of Purim," said Rabinovitch.
The former Alaskan governor is a possible candidate in the 2012 presidential election, and as such a visit to Israel has become an imperative stop on a candidate's way to the White House. She is also known for her enthusiastic support of Israel, even in difficult times.
Palin's support of Israel is not new and/or shocking news. What is interesting is when you compare her pro-Israel stance and that of the last two GOP nominees, McCain and President Bush to the Anti-Israel stances of President Obama and the previous nominee Senator Kerry. If one is to be truly honest it is apparent that GOP has become pro-Israel party.
Aaron Klein will be on Fox and Friends tomorrow morning to talk about Palin's trip to Israel.
Will update as more becomes available.