Does White House Video Confirm Obama is Boycotting Ariel U?
A White House video which states that President Barack Obama's planned speech before Israeli university students is the centerpiece of his visit, also appears to confirm that the White House deliberately left Ariel University students out of the event.
The spokesman in the video, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, says in it that the universities chosen to send students to the event were the ones that "partner" with the U.S. Embassy.
This explanation places responsibility for leaving out Ariel – while including all of Israel's other universities – on the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
"The President will go to the Jerusalem Convention Center," stated the incredibly fast-speaking Rhodes, "where he will give a speech to an audience of mainly Israeli university students. And this really is the true purpose of the visit; an ability for the President to speak directly to the Israeli people about the future that we want to build together. And the embassy has put together a list of universities that they partner with that can bring in Israeli young people, so that the President can have a very direct conversation with them about the bonds between our two countries and our commitment to Israel's security and its future."