Wearing a black hoodie, white puffer vest, and a huge Star of David, Sarah Palin toured Jerusalem's Western Wall with Likud party officials. When told that Jews couldn't pray openly on the Temple Mount, she asked, "Why are you apologizing all the time?" Many on the American right are thrilled with that comment. But how are Israelis reacting to Palin's trip?
- Ha'aretz's Natasha Mozgovaya calls the trip "a vital stop for potential Republican U.S. presidential candidates. The visit, seen as a bid to show Palin has some foreign policy prowess, is intended to up her potential though her popularity among Republicans appears to be declining. ... Palin is expecting a warm reception in Israel. The Alaska native is likely to garner headlines and get a photo-op with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who sorely needs a break from the regional turmoil."
- Mozgovaya also noted that Palin didn't manage to make her trip before Haley Barbour, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Still, "In every interview Palin gives following her helicopter trip in Israel, she will be able to say she saw how small and vulnerable the borders are and how important is that the US support its strongest ally in the Middle East."
- Ryan Jones at Israel Today highlights Palin's comment at the Western Wall with the headline, "Palin in Israel: Stop apologizing to everyone!" Jones notes that, "During her time as John McCain’s running mate in 2008, it became clear that Palin was a staunch supporter of Israel because of her Christian faith. One televised interview with the then-governor of Alaska revealed a small Israeli flag sitting on her window sill."
- Likud member of the Knesset Danny Danon interpreted her reaction thusly: “She really connected to the story of the Jewish nation... She knows the material but there’s nothing like standing in front of those big stones and hearing about the connection. I know that she loves Israel, and after a visit like this, she has a personal connection to the Western Wall.”
Before Palin visited Israel, she was in India. She was celebrated not quite so wholeheartedly there.
- India Today Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie introduced Palin at a conference hosted by his magazine by teasing the Alaskan for her "creative vocabulary" and praising her as "the sexiest brand in Republican politics," Politico's Aaron Barr reports. "Either you love her or hate her," Poonie said. "Governor Palin, I hope you don't refudiate me."
- Delhi University's Mahesh Rangarajan said Palin had "nothing to offer India." He added, "It's more about what India has to offer her. She is a very effective communicator who will no doubt try to reach out to India as an emerging power. But we've had a series of presidents here who have already done that."