President Barack Obama will return from his first trip to Israel as President having renewed America’s alliance with the nation — and he’ll have a rock to show for it.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly gifted Obama with a 2,000-year-old stone from Jerusalem, embedded with a tiny, gold-coated microchip that contains the American and Israeli declarations of independence.
Netanyahu’s office called the stone a “symbolic gift,” the Times of Israel reports, created at Netanyahu’s request by the Technion’s Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute. The microchip itself measures just 0.04 sq. mm. “The etching was done by accelerating charged atoms, called ions, and bombarding them at various points on the surface of the chip,” the institute explains. “This is similar to digging tiny holes in the ground using a water jet out of an irrigation hose, except that the holes formed this way are a million times bigger than the holes created by the beam of ions.”
Netanyahu hosted dinner at his Jerusalem residence in Obama’s honor Thursday, posting pictures of the event on his Facebook page. Included in the images was a picture of Obama’s gift (thankfully not a box set of DVDs): a framed wooden piece from Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the U.S. and a national historic site. According to his page, the frame was inscribed with a quote from a letter George Washington wrote about the synagogue: “Every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”
First Lady Michelle Obama will receive a traditional plate used for Passover, Sasha and Malia will get chains with silver medallions of David’s harp, while family dog Bo will also get a rubber hamburger chew toy, the Associated Press reports.
Obama’s trip is his first visit to the country and only his second to the Middle East. He told Israeli President Shimon Peres that the nation will have “no greater friend than the United States,” according to the AP. Judging by Netanyahu’s gift, the feeling is likely mutual.