U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), visited Yad Vashem at the beginning of a two-day visit to Israel.
The Republican Party presidential candidate was greeted outside the Holocaust memorial museum with enthusiasm by tourists who rushed to shake his hand and take pictures with him.
McCain said in an interview published Tuesday that he was coming to Israel with two other lawmakers, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) as part of an assessment of Middle East security issues.
“We are very worried by the missile fire at Israel, and we are worried by Israel’s incursions into Gaza,” McCain told Yediot Achronot. “There is a very tough situation in the region. There is tension between Israel and the Palestinians, and I want to check out possibilities for helping.”
McCain was arrived in Tel Aviv from Baghdad Tuesday. Though U.S. media have speculated that coming to Israel will help McCain win over Jewish votes from the Democrats, the senator denied that the trip aims to bolster his bid for November success.
“I want to make clear that I am going as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and not as a presidential candidate,” he said.