Palin. Touring Virginia
Meridor. Tried to keep it under wraps
Israeli Ambassador to the US Sallai Meridor met with GOP Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Monday during the latter's three-city tour in Virginia. Meridor also plans to meet with the Democratic vice presidential candidate, Joe Biden.
Palin greeted Ambassador Sallai Meridor and apologized for not being able to meet with him sooner. Somewhat enigmatically, she told the ambassador: "We look forward to ... working with your Jewish agency."
Palin's Virginia tour was designed to upend Democrat Barack Obama's lead over Republican John McCain in a state that hasn't backed a Democratic White House hopeful since 1964.
From her first event in historic Leesburg through Fredericksburg and Salem in the conservative southwestern part of the state, Palin is trying to make McCain's closing argument that electing Obama would give Democrats control of the White House and Congress when checks and balances are most needed.
Ambassador Meridor attempted to keep the meeting with Palin under wraps in order to refrain from appearing to intervene in the US election process, but the Republican vice candidate's campaign appeared interested in publicizing the encounter after a poll asserted Obama had won over the vast majority of American Jewish voters.
The Gallup poll found that 74% of Jewish voters support Obama, while just 22% support McCain. The poll also found that for many, the Republican nominee's choice of running mate was what pushed them towards his opponent.
After Palin's campaign advertised the meeting, Meridor's office issued a statement saying the two had discussed the mutual relationship between the US and Israel and the challenges faced by both countries, as well as the issue of peace in the Middle East. The statement also said that Meridor planned to meet with Senator Biden later on.
Palin has previously expressed unreserved support for Israel and its right to defend itself in the face of threats such as Iran, telling Katie Couric of CBS News that the US would not criticize the Jewish state if it decided to attack Iran.