President Obama is in the midst of his first ever diplomatic visit to Israel since taking office in 2009. It's being considered a long overdue public relations move, more to win the hearts and minds of the people of the Middle East, than to negotiate any policy details. And both the White House and the office of Israeli President Shimon Peres are taking their messages directly to the Internet.
March 20, 2013 - Jerusalem, Israel - President BARACK OBAMA, center right, waves as he is escorted by Israeli President SHIMON PERES following their meeting at the president's residency. Obama arrived in Israel for his first visit to the country, hoping to ease past tensions with his hosts and under pressure to narrow differences over handling Iran's nuclear threat. (Credit Image: © Muammar Awad/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
The office of President Shimon Peres has also set up a Facebook page called Obama-Peres Live Broadcast which is streaming live video of the presidential visit. President Peres' Twitter account has also tweeted his words of welcome to Obama, a message that has been retweeted over 400 times.
Of course, there are two sides to U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East, and while Obama met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and said that the Palestinian people deserve an independent state, he added that: "the only way to achieve that was through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians themselves."
Zahra Billoo and Linda Sarsour are among the Muslim women who have been actively tweeting their criticisms of President Obama's visit to Israel:
My town in Palestine, Al Bireh is not exactly where you go to see the impact of occupation. @barackobama should visit Balata refugee camp.
Are you following President Obama's trip to Israel? Does social media make it easier for you to understand the events in the Middle East? Tell us about it in the comments.
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