Stars (of David) and Stripes

Obama visit to get own logo

Government invites Facebook users to determine which image will be used for ‘Unbreakable Alliance,’ as the trip is dubbed

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

Three logos to choose from (photo credit: screenshot Facebook/PMO)
Three logos to choose from (photo credit: screenshot Facebook/PMO)

The Prime Minister’s Office is ramping up excitement for the visit of US President Barack Obama next month, releasing not one but three logos for the event.

The logos, which Israelis will have a chance to choose between in a Facebook contest, mark the first time a head of state’s visit has been celebrated with its own official insignia, usually reserved for major conferences and sporting events.

The director of the PMO’s National Information Directorate, Yarden Vatikai, said the logos were designed to show how serious Jerusalem is about Obama’s first visit here as president.

“With the logos we want to show that the visit is something very important to us and that we’re taking it very seriously,” he told The Times of Israel. “The president of the United States is coming — this is a major event and we want to present Israel as a host that honors its guest.”

On the PMO’s Hebrew Facebook page, surfers can view the three designs, which all features the words “President Obama in Israel, 2013” in Hebrew and English next to the two nations’ national flags. The logos, created by three Israeli graphic artists, also contain the visit’s official title, “Unbreakable Alliance,” in Hebrew and English.

While Obama will be the first foreign VIP to get his own official logo, “Unbreakable Alliance” is not the first time a high-profile visit got an operational name: Pope Benedict XVI’s Israel trip in May 2009, for example, was dubbed “White Robe.”

The first logo (photo credit: courtesy PMO)
The first logo (photo credit: courtesy PMO)
The second logo (photo credit: courtesy PMO)
The second logo (photo credit: courtesy PMO)
The third logo (photo credit: courtesy PMO)
The third logo (photo credit: courtesy PMO)

The design to gather the most “Likes” by Tuesday at 6 p.m. Israeli time will be named the winner.

The three graphic artists who designed the logos were picked and hired by the Israel Government Advertising Agency. They will receive some sort of payment for their work, but is unclear just how much the idea will cost the Israeli taxpayer, said Vatikai.

The budget for the logos was “very small” in comparison to how much Obama’s visit overall will cost, Vatikai said.

Hundreds of foreign journalists are expected to arrive in Israel ahead of Obama’s visit next month, for whom the government plans to open a press center in Jerusalem.

The government will try to emphasize its use of social media and its efforts to involve citizens, such as in the choosing of the logo, the PMO said in a press release.

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