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From Miss Israel to Mount Herzl

Obama’s schedule is as packed today as it was Wednesday and Thursday. He’s due at Mount Herzl at around 8.50. Then Yad Vashem at 9.30. By 10.50, he’s due to be meeting again with “my friend Bibi” at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

At 12.30, he goes to Bethlehem, for a trip that was one of the later additions to his schedule. And by 3.10 this afternoon he’s supposed to be at the airport, for what is billed as a more modest ceremony than the welcome he got 51 hours earlier.

At least last night was a relatively relaxing evening, at the state dinner Shimon Peres held in his honor. Among the 120 guests was Yityish “Titi” Aynaw, a 21-year-old from Netanya who came to Israel at age 12, and was chosen Miss Israel 2013 three weeks ago.

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Yityish Aynaw, a 21-year old Ethiopian-Israeli who won Israel's Miss Israel national beauty pageant, at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on March 21, 2013. (Photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO/FLASH90)
President Barack Obama shakes hands with Yityish Aynaw, a 21-year old Ethiopian-Israeli who won Israel’s Miss Israel national beauty pageant, at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on March 21, 2013. (Photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO/FLASH90)

Obama’s success, she said last week, had shown her that “everyone can reach the top,” no matter what their creed or skin color. Like the president, she added, she was raised without her parents, by her grandparents. The first thing she would tell him, she promised ahead of the dinner, was that he has been “a role model” and “an inspiration.” The second, she said, was that he should release spy-for-Israel Jonathan Pollard.

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