The opening act in stand-up comedy or music concerts is arguably the hardest as it involves warming up a “cold” audience. To some degree, President Pranab Mukherjee faced this thankless task by becoming the first Indian president to visit Israel. Traditionally, presidential visits don’t attract much attention. But the six-day tour of Jordan, Palestine and Israel is seen as a prelude to the much-anticipated Narendra Modi visit to Tel Aviv. How can we interpret his visit in the broader context of Modi’s policy?