Odd TIP timing-UPDATE


One of the odder events Inauguration eve didn’t involve the inauguration — in fact, its oddness was that it seemed to be the only event in Washington on Monday that apparently had nothing to do with the historic moment about take place along the National Mall.

The Israel Project hosted an event at the residence of Israeli Ambassador Sallai Meridor, entitled "Celebrating Security, Freedom, Peace and the U.S.-Israel Relationship."

It’s the kind of celebration that can take place just about any time — why Monday night? And why overlapping with the signature Jewish event at the Capitol Hilton? (That event ran from 4:30 to 7 pm; the Israel Project event started at 6.)

Making matters more difficult, the ambassador’s residence is in one of those rare areas of Washington that is more easily accessed by car than by public transportation — it’s a long, wintry walk to the closest metro — at the one time every four years where Washington authorities vehemently discourage the use of one’s own vehicle.

We didn’t attend, although we were graciously invited — so I don’t know how it went.

Meridor, however, did make the main Jewish event at the Capitol Hilton, and displayed his usual deftness in incorporating the inauguration’s buzz into an address that was a pithy spin on the usual encomiums about how Israel and the United States are joined at the heart.

"As Martin Luther King said, ‘I have a dream,’ and as the leader of the Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl, said, ‘If you will it it’s not just a dream."" Meridor said. "When you reflect on the miracle of America and Israel, you know: ‘Yes, we can.’"

UPDATE: Turns out the TIP event had an inauguration angle: U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who is on The Israel Project’s board, presented Meridor with a U.S. flag that will be flown from atop the Capitol today in Meridor’s honor during the inauguration.

"For one of America’s greatests leaders to give this flag, which will be flown over the Inauguration of our new President, to one of Israel’s most talented, dedicated and important leaders, is a wonderful celebration of freedom, security and the hope for peace," said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, TIP’s founder, in a statement.

That’s quite a coup; I’m not sure how TIP pulled it off, whom they had to talk to in Congress.to get this done. We’ll update you once we know more.

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