Matzah on the menu at King David for Obama in Israel
The King David Hotel (Photo: David Shankbone)
He is one of the most powerful people in the world, but even Barack Obama is unlikely to be able to circumvent Pesach food restrictions when he visits Israel next week.
The US president is due to arrive in the Jewish state on Wednesday March 20, just a few days before the start of Passover.
Like many foreign dignitaries before him, he will be staying in the exclusive and historic King David H otel, which offers luxury accommodation and panoramic views of Jerusalem.
But because the hotel will already have changed over its menu and its cutlery and crockery in advance of the festival, no chametz – leavened bread – will be available on the premises.
Unless the president can slip away from his security and strict itinerary to sample some of the delicacies available on Ben Yehuda S treet, he is in for three days without bread, pasta and even rice.
The manager of the King David told Ha'aretz that while the hotel was used to hosting heads of state "this situation is very special for us because it's so close to Pesach".
A chef at the hotel added: "We'll eat more fresh vegetables – we have no shortage of ingredients."
While money is unlikely to have been an object in choosing a hotel, the cost for a deluxe room with an Old City view at the hotel is $203 per night. However because President Obama is staying before Pesach, which is still low season, he can take advantage of slightly lower rates.