George W. Bush has arrived in Tel Aviv for his first presidential visit to Israel, where he hopes to boost momentum on the peace talks launched in Annapolis. Haaretz reports that both President Shimon Peres and PM Ehud Olmert met the president at the airport. Overshadowing the visit, though, is a threat by one of Olmert's coalition partners to quit the government and topple the PM.
Yesterday Olmert and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas agreed to restart stalled talks, which Bush hopes to accelerate. "We see a new opportunity for peace here in the holy land," said Bush, a sentiment echoed by the Israeli cabinet. But the head of the hard-line Israel Our Home party is threatening to quit the governing coalition because of "the direction that this government is taking."