With three other U.S. governors, Bush is on a visit to Israel organized with the help of the National Jewish Coalition, a Republican group. But the Israelis are especially interested in finding out who the younger Bush really is. "They didn't like his father much, " says Time Jerusalem Bureau Chief Lisa Beyer,"because President Bush was famous for taking on the Shamir government over settlement policy." The Israelis hope the younger Bush will develop a more Israeli-friendly attitude from his visit. For his part, the Texas Governor is happy just to get a good photo op -- you never know when a good pic might resurface in a campaign ad.
So who's trying to get a head start -- or at least a heads up -- on the 2000 Presidential election: George W. Bush or the State of Israel? As the Texas governor and potential Presidential candidate flew over the occupied West Bank Tuesday in a personally guided tour led by hard-line Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon, the answer appeared to be both.