Obama in highly symbolic visit to Dead Sea Scrolls

Thursday, March 21, 2013 |  Israel Today Staff

US President Barack Obama's first stop on his second day in Israel was to the Shrine of the Book to inspect and learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls housed inside.

Obama was met at the facility by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who read several passages from the scroll of Isaiah to the American leader.

As Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren explained last week, Obama's visit to the Dead Sea Scrolls sent a clear message of American support for the Jews' ancient ties to this land.

"The ancient Dead Sea Scrolls were written more than 2,000 years ago by Jews in Hebrew in their homeland, the land of Israel," Oren said on Israel's Channel 2 News. Obama's visiting this attraction "sends a message to the world about the Jewish state’s deep roots in this region."

After reaffirming American recognition of Israel's past, Obama then stepped over to the adjacent Israel Museum to learn about the Jewish state's future.

At a special exhibit prepared for their visitor, Israeli inventors, artists and researchers presented Obama with cutting-edge technological advancements, including exo-skeletons, robotic waiters, and a "mind control" helmet allowing control of computer systems using nothing but brain waves.

Obama called the Israeli innovations "inspiring."

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