Obama’s trip to Israel carries big price tag for both countries

President Obama’s trip to Israel may be one for the record books, not only for its significance, but for its price tag as well. The visit is estimated to cost $10.9 million for manpower and logistics – and that’s just Israel’s tab, according to Israel Hayom.

The Israeli newspaper offered a breakdown of just some of those expenses:

The cost of Obama’s 48-hour visit includes salaries and overtime for the tens of thousands of police and volunteers recruited for the occasion, as well as the cost of gas and other necessities for these workers. It also includes securing the airport, roads and the streets on which Obama’s entourage will travel, near the King David Hotel, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and the Jerusalem Convention Center.

The King David Hotel will also be compensated about 3.5 million shekels (about $950,000) because it will be forced to close entire wings of the hotel during Obama’s visit and send guests to other hotels. The media center will cost 357,000 shekels ($97,000) to run.

While Israel has disclosed those costs to various Israeli media outlets, not much is being said about how much the American taxpayers will bear. Israel Hayom offers the best report on the president’s entourage:

Two massive C-17 cargo planes landed in Ben-Gurion International Airport on Tuesday, bringing with them two Marine One helicopters for the president to use while traveling around the region, Black Hawk helicopters, the presidential limousine and a staggering amount of additional equipment.

Presidential limo
Photo credit: Traffic Police Spokesperson

When the president isn’t taking the helicopter during his visit, he’ll travel in an astounding convoy of about 60 vehicles which will include “armored cars, electronic warfare vehicles to counter missile threats, secret service vans, bomb disposal units and a squad of troops,” Israel Hayom reported.

Perhaps the most impressive vehicles in the convoy are two armored limousines, one of which will transport the president. Each “monster”, as Israel Hayom calls it, costs an estimated $300,000, is protected from chemical and biological attacks, and carries packets of the president’s blood type in the trunk.

And if that’s not enough:

The convoy includes one of the most famous pieces of technology in the world, the president’s nuclear briefcase, a 20-kilogram (44-pound) metal case which includes the secret codes required for the president to authorize a nuclear attack.

With all of that, you’d think someone would have thought to bring proper gasoline for the presidential limo. News outlets reported Wednesday that one of the limos had mechanical problems and had to be towed. Rumor has it that someone filled it up with the wrong gas.

Presidential limo on a tow truck
Photo credit: ABC News



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