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Embassy Tel Aviv hosts contest for Obama speech invites

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv is hosting a competition and ticket giveaway for its social media followers ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel later this month.  “Want to attend President Obama’s speech?” reads a post on the Embassy Tel Aviv’s Facebook page. “LIKE our page, and in the comments below, tell us ...

612623_130311_obama03112.jpg
612623_130311_obama03112.jpg

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv is hosting a competition and ticket giveaway for its social media followers ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to Israel later this month. 

"Want to attend President Obama's speech?" reads a post on the Embassy Tel Aviv's Facebook page. "LIKE our page, and in the comments below, tell us why you think we should invite YOU. Up to twenty of our Facebook fans, who submit the most original and creative responses, will see President Obama speak in person. Comment on our post on U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv, Israel by midnight on Wednesday, March 14. Good luck!"

The Sunday post already has more than 500 "likes" and over 800 commenters have already submitted their entries, which range from emotional pleas to comical auditions, with some outright criticism of Israel mixed in. 

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv is hosting a competition and ticket giveaway for its social media followers ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel later this month. 

“Want to attend President Obama’s speech?” reads a post on the Embassy Tel Aviv’s Facebook page. “LIKE our page, and in the comments below, tell us why you think we should invite YOU. Up to twenty of our Facebook fans, who submit the most original and creative responses, will see President Obama speak in person. Comment on our post on U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv, Israel by midnight on Wednesday, March 14. Good luck!”

The Sunday post already has more than 500 “likes” and over 800 commenters have already submitted their entries, which range from emotional pleas to comical auditions, with some outright criticism of Israel mixed in. 

New Yorker Shifra Osofsky Friedman, for her entry, posted a picture of herself and her husband draped in aluminum cans and wearing signs with the Obama 2008 catchphrase “Yes we can.”

Israeli Ran Oren went with the approach of complimenting the president. “I read all his books and followed the 1st primary closely while in the USA. i find his actions and reforms inspiring and finally changing the status quo of the rich getting richer. probably the only president who is independent in approach and not afraid to rethink what is considered a norm.” 

Israeli Liat Ellert tried humor for her entry. “[N]ext week my husband is celebrating his 35th birthday. hes getting old,” she commented. “[W]hen I asked him what would he like for his birthday he said- to be at Obama’s speech in Jerusalem.”

Israeli Yossi Zur posted that he wanted to attend the speech in honor of his son Asaf, who was killed in a bus bombing in 2003 at the age of 17. “As a parent who lost a child in the Israeli Arab conflict, as a person that know the meaning of raging terror when there is no peace, as someone who felt the terrible price of losing a son but thinks that there’s a chance to make peace and that we must get peace for the future of our children, I feel I have to come and hear president Obama, if not to be able to speak, and I hope to be able to speak to the president, at least to be there and support with my presence,” he wrote.

Obama will arrive in Israel March 20 along with Secretary of State John Kerry and will also visit the West Bank and Jordan.

UPDATE: Read more about the embassy’s plans to host an “Obama-ba” festival related to the presidential visit at The Weekly Standard.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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