Over 1,000 reporters from Israel and abroad are covering the visit of President Barack H. Obama to Israel – and while here, their “office away from home” will be in the Begin Center, across the street from the Old City of Jerusalem. “We provide logistic and communications services for reporters, and all other support services they need,” said Herzl Makov, director of the Center. “We will be open 24 hours a day for reporters throughout the visit,” Makov said.
The Center also provides guidance and background for reporters who, while familiar with Israel, may not be aware of many of the back-stories of the issues they are reporting on. And according to Nicole, a reporter from Germany who is covering the Obama visit, there is a great deal to report about. “This visit is interesting from many perspectives,” she said. “It will be interesting to see if the two leaders can get together and if Israelis can again find the sympathy they formerly had for Obama, and how the President is dealing and not dealing with the two state issue, among other things,” she said.
Why the Begin Center? Makov said that there were several reasons. “We of course have the space and the resources, and we are also very well-located, right here next to the Old City,” he said. “This is also a very significant location, because of whom the Center is named for,” said Makov. “The first major visit by a U.S. president, by Jimmy Carter, occurred during the term of Prime Minister Menachem Begin, so it seems appropriate to host reporters here for this presidential visit.”