Visiting Israel from Wednesday to Friday, Barack Obama becomes the fifth serving president to come to the Jewish state, and he’s making the ninth presidential visit.
Obama, who has visited twice before — including as a presidential candidate in 2008 — joins Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush on the short register of serving presidents to come here.
Clinton leads the presidential pack with four visits while president, including for the 1995 funeral of assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Bush visited twice, both times in 2008. Like Clinton, but unlike Obama, he did address the Knesset.
Carter came in 1979, expediting progress toward Israeli-Egyptian peace.
And Nixon, the first president to come here, visited in 1974, in the wake of the previous year’s Yom Kippur War and, in part perhaps, to get away from the Watergate affair.