President Obama kicked off his first state visit to Israel on Wednesday. He was welcomed by Israeli President Shimon Peres as well as frequent foil, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu started things off on a friendly note, saying “thank you for strengthening our unshakable alliance during your presidency….we deeply appreciate your friendship.” The Prime Minister’s warm words echoed the sentiment, if not the sensibility, of a unique video released by the Israeli Embassy in the lead-up to the trip. President Obama, for his part, vowed to maintain an “eternal” alliance between the U.S. and Israel. But while the words and meetings have been positive thus far, it remains to be seen if the visit will be productive as well. All eyes will be on President Obama to see what message he offers to the Israelis on Iran, Syria and, of course, a possible peace plan with the Palestinians. Will the world see any concrete progress, or just goodwill and lot of pomp and circumstance? We’ll discuss that and more when we see you at noon ET on msnbc.
Kurt Andersen, WNYC host, “Studio 360”/Author “True Believers” (@kbandersen)
Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto, msnbc, NBCLatino contributor/Professor, University of Texas
Michael Steele, Fmr. RNC Chairman/msnbc Political Analyst (@steele_michael)
Ryan Grim, Washington Bureau Chief, The Huffington Post (@ryangrim)
Doug Holtz-Eakin, President, American Action Forum/Fmr. Chief Economist, White House Council of Economic Advisors/Fmr. Director, Congressional Budget Office
Jeremy Ben-Ami, President, J Street (@jeremybenami)