MasadaFlash 90

Numerous preparations were made in Masada prior to the forthcoming visit of US president Donald Trump but in the past day it became apparent that he intended cancelling the trip and the rumors around the reason for the cancellation proliferated.

Trump had originally intended to give his keynote speech at Masada but the visit was cancelled. Initial reports indicated that the reason for the cancellation was the hot weather at Masada. However, a Channel 2 report claimed that the reason was entirely different. It stated that the cancellation stemmed from the US president's unwillingness to follow Israeli official directives which maintain that a helicopter cannot be landed on the upper level of Masada.

Trump's aides were told that landing a helicopter on the summit of Masada would harm archaeological artifacts at the site, due to the wind movements when helicopters land and take off. Trump's preparation team was asked to land the helicopter at the base of Masada and to go up the mountain in a cable car just as former US president George Bush did in the past.

However Trump's aides refused to accede to this suggestion and instead cancelled the Masada trip and it was decided that the president will present his keynote address at the Israel Museum instead. The Masada site expressed its disappointment but stated that with or without Trump Masada wil remain a central part of Jewish history.

The final details of the trip which must now be planned. Trump will visit the Western Wall alone and without Prime Minister Netanyahu and the visit will be deemed a private visit which is not under Israeli responsibility. He will pay a brief visit to Yad Vashem and the Israel Museum.