In yet another example of Trump’s inability to maintain even a slight bit of tact while representing America’s interests overseas, the White House reportedly canceled plans to visit a historic landmark during his visit to Israel – one of the nation’s biggest tourist attractions. The reason: Trump wanted to land his helicopter directly on the ancient mountain fortress and was told no.
President Donald Trump has canceled a planned visit and speech at the ancient mountain fortress of Masada in Israel after authorities told him that he could not land his helicopter on top of the UNESCO-listed site.
Instead, Trump will now deliver a speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It comes after an Israeli Air Force (IAF) regulation that prevents helicopters landing at the summit of the Masada site, according to Israel’s Channel 2 broadcaster.
Unlike former presidents who have made the trip, such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Trump declined to land the helicopter at a base of the historic site and then take the cable car up, preferring to cancel the visit altogether.
The reasons not allowing helicopters near the 2,000-year-old ruins should be obvious: For starters, the dust and sand that characterize the mountaintop are extremely rough on helicopter motors. Secondly, the wind and sand kicked up by the powerful blades can destroy the ancient structures, costing archaeologists priceless artifacts. Avoiding those issues by simply getting in a cable car was apparently too much energy.
It may be another sign that Trump is hoping to breeze past this trip while doing minimal work. Sources close to Trump say he is extremely upset about having to travel abroad for a multi-day trip to the Middle East and already begged his staff to cut the number of days he’d be gone. Keen observers of Trump’s habits might note that Trump will be missing at least two weekends during the trip, days he typically reserves for golfing at his various private courses.
Trump’s demands on his overseas guests have raised eyebrows before. Earlier this year, Trump created a stir in England when reports leaked that he had requested Queen Elizabeth pick him up in a golden chariot:
The White House has made clear it regards the carriage procession down the Mall as an essential element of the itinerary for the visit currently planned for the second week of October, according to officials.
The request frustrated royal planners who described the situation as a logistical and financial nightmare.
It’s unclear how Israelis will react to Trump’s show of laziness during his trip. Already the country’s mood toward Trump is souring after the president is said to have leaked classified information provided by Israeli intelligence services to the Russians. He hasn’t even left the White House and already his trip is shaping up to be trouble.