Report: Fewer Photo-Ops in Biden Visit

By Zalman Ahnsaf

U.S. President Joe Biden speaking at the White House on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

YERUSHALAYIM – The White House has asked Israel to scale down the official reception planned for President Joe Biden when he comes to visit in July, according to Channel 13 news.

U.S. officials requested that limits be place on the number of guests and the duration of the reception ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport, the report said Wednesday.

The Foreign Ministry was said to be considering shortening the list of invitee to the ceremony, as well as shortening the time allocated to speeches and canceling the hand-shaking ceremony altogether.

Although the White House did not give a reason for the request, Channel 13 gave several possibilities:

Heading the list was a concern for Biden’s age (79) and declining stamina, along with the high temperatures and humidity that can be expected during Israel’s summer months.

The report comes as speculation swirls about whether Biden will run for reelection in 2024, given his advancing age and signs that he may not be up to another four years of the tremendous strain of the presidency. Even within the Democratic party, the viability of a 2024 campaign by Biden at the age of 81 is being questioned openly.

Biden is already older than any of his predecessors were at the end of their presidency. When Ronald Reagan stepped down after eight years in the White House, he was not yet 78.

It was also suggested that it’s an attempt to avoid a repetition of an incident that took place in May 2017, when then-MK Oren Hazan pushed his way through the line of dignitaries at the airport to snatch an unplanned selfie with then-U.S. president Donald Trump.

The incident drew condemnation from other Israeli officials, who referred to it as “a real embarrassment.”

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