US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Israel on Monday afternoon for a three-day whirlwind visit that will see him meet with Israel's top leadership, minus controversial Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Lieberman, the resident of a Jewish settlement in Judea, has been maligned abroad as a radical and a detriment to peace, though many Israelis see his views as far more realistic than those of other politicians more willing to continue making concessions for an elusive peace.
Jerusalem tried to explain that no meeting was scheduled between Biden and Lieberman because the foreign minister plans to travel to Washington next month anyway.
Biden will also visit Ramallah on Wednesday to meet with the Palestinian leadership. A day later, the Palestinian Authority will officially rename one of the town's main squares after Dalal Mughrabi, a female Palestinian terrorist who in 1978 managed to massacre 37 Israelis, the most ever in a single terrorist attack.
There was no public statement of concern from Washington that the PA planned this event to coincide with Biden's visit. Nor was there any criticism at all from the international community along the lines that honoring terrorists like Mughrabi violates the Palestinians' peace obligation to stop encouraging violence against Israel.
Israeli commentators contrasted that to the international outrage, including from Washington, that was elicited by Israel's decision to officially recognize the Jewish connection to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem - burial sites of Israel's patriarchs and matriarchs.
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