Clinton Camp: No Plans for Israel Trip
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is not planning to travel to Israel during the campaign, ABC News reported on Thursday.
“Don’t get any hopes up for a photo-op of Hillary Clinton at the Western Wall in Jerusalem,” ABC reported, based on conversations with the Clinton campaign.
“To date our assessment has been that it just does not ever make sense to do that given the amount of experience she has on an international stage and in international security,” Clinton’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri told ABC News. “So, if we had more time, it might be something that we would do. But at this point they haven’t found it to be worth how much time we would lose here.”
Instead, the campaign is exploring the idea of sending vice presidential candidate or former President Bill Clinton on Hillary’s behalf.
In her AIPAC speech in March, the Democratic nominee promised to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a meeting in her first month in office. A campaign video played at the Democratic National Convention last month touted Clinton’s brokering of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, mediating peace talks between Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, while footage of her meetings with Netanyahu was displayed.
The Clinton campaign did not respond to several requests for confirmation.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has so far said that he has no plan to travel to Israel before November. “I don’t know. I don’t know,” Trump told reporters last month when asked if he’s planning to travel to Israel after canceling a planned trip last December. “I haven’t set my schedule yet. It could happen.”
A recent report cited Republican officials saying a possible trip is in the works.
Netanyahu is expected to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September, but he doesn’t have any meetings scheduled with either candidate, Trump or Clinton.
President Barack Obama – in 2008 – and Mitt Romney in 2012, traveled to Israel during the presidential campaign.