Skip to main content

For the first time ever, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will visit the United States as prime minister without being granted a personal meeting with the president.

The reason?

According to Israel's daily, Haaretz, the White House declined Netanyahu's request for such a meeting, a development which may indicate the growing personal divide between Obama and Netanyahu (who will be in the U.S. at the end of September for a U.N. conference).

An official in Jerusalem said that the prime minister's office sent the White House a message stating that although Netanyahu will spend only two and a half days on U.S. soil, he is interested in meeting Obama and is willing to travel  to the U.S. capital specifically for that purpose.  The official added that the White House rejected the request and said that at this time Obama's schedule does not allow for a meeting.

The White House's response marks a new low in relations between Netanyahu and Obama, underscored by the fact that this is the first time Netanyahu will visit the U.S. as prime minister without meeting the president.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak tried to ease the tension on Tuesday, saying that the differences between the U.S. and Israel should be ironed out "but behind closed doors."

President Obama has many reasons to be upset with Netanyahu, from his derisive speech before a joint session of Congress in 2011 to his public attacks on Obama's Iran stance.

However, what may have sent Obama over the edge is the fact that, today, of all days – on the anniversary of 9/11 – Netanyahu chose to launch a veiled and public verbal attack on Obama's Iran position:

Earlier on Tuesday, Netanyahu launched an unprecedented verbal attack on the U.S. government over its stance on the Iranian nuclear program.

"The world tells Israel 'wait, there's still time'. And I say, 'Wait for what? Wait until when?' Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel," Netanyahu told reporters on Tuesday.

"Now if Iran knows that there is no red line. If Iran knows that there is no deadline, what will it do? Exactly what it's doing. It's continuing, without any interference, towards obtaining nuclear weapons capability and from there, nuclear bombs," he said.  

The Obama administration, which has kept military intervention on the table, responded by stating that such issues would be better discussed in private, and not in public.

And then?

Rejected Netanyahu's request to meet in private.

In other words, after today's insensitive verbal assault by Netanyahu, on 9/11 no less, the President answered Israel's request to meet privately with a simple response.

"No thank you."

Follow me on Twitter @David_EHG

Author's Note:

As Mindful Nature noted in the comments, the White House is denying this report (according to Politico). This is in odds with the Haaretz story, which quotes a Dept. of State spokeswoman.

While the reality of this snub remains in flux, the underlying tensions still remain. And while it's not in Obama's nature to make such a move, nor make noise on this issue, it's difficult to take the White House's denial as a true reflection of what's going on behind the scenes.

Why? The reasoning isn't solid:

"The Prime Minister doesn't arrive in New York until later in the week. They're simply not in the city at the same time. But the President and PM are in frequent contact and the PM will meet with other senior officials, including Secretary Clinton, during his visit," Vietor said.
Netanyahu made clear that he would fly to D.C. to meet with Obama, and arrange it at the White House's convenience.
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

grytpype, GainesT1958, Alumbrados, deben, native, daninoah, PeterHug, Wintermute, cotterperson, mslat27, eeff, rubyr, exNYinTX, Paulie200, BlackSheep1, wonkydonkey, whenwego, KibbutzAmiad, CoolOnion, highacidity, AlyoshaKaramazov, mkfarkus, jalbert, psnyder, crankypatriot, cosette, Jujuree, raster44, zerelda, KayCeSF, tomjones, TheOrchid, eztempo, sawgrass727, Skennet Boch, Tinfoil Hat, ichibon, blueyedace2, PBen, kitchen sink think tank, Gary Norton, FutureNow, bleeding blue, Dr Squid, Pam from Calif, Sun Tzu, aaraujo, Overseas, quaoar, skyounkin, peteri2, Phil S 33, sunbro, PinHole, Savvy813, sodalis, coloradorob, peacestpete, Paper Cup, Jim R, begone, elliott, poco, gwilson, 417els, Mr Bojangles, hungrycoyote, JCNYMYAMI, kestrel9000, Son of a Cat, Dinclusin, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, shaharazade, Statusquomustgo, Mr Horrible, AllanTBG, Winston Sm1th, Loudoun County Dem, bfbenn, puakev, threegoal, david mizner, terabytes, Rumarhazzit, uciguy30, leonard145b, BasharH, Assaf, oxon, rmonroe, gundyj, revm3up, TruthFreedomKindness, JeffW, poligirl, Sixty Something, bythesea, Old Lefty, Akonitum, Lujane, tofumagoo, royce, hwmnbn, Gemina13, BYw, dmhlt 66, Rhysling, Kansas Born, Rick Aucoin, bsmechanic, Gorilla in the room, elziax, bfitzinAR, lastman, stevenwag, Flyswatterbanjo, Little Flower, haremoor, Railfan, Just Bob, Christy1947, Alohilani, Captain Marty, NJpeach, catwho, michelewln, LeftyAce, Lost and Found, Eddie L, ramara, DrTerwilliker, stevenaxelrod, slice, Onomastic, Jasel, ozsea1, slowbutsure, iowacaucus, boomerchick, Haf2Read, zukesgirl64, sethtriggs, Cinnamon Rollover, thomask, dle2GA, smoothnmellow, floridablue, chira2, Imhotepsings, Vatexia, jolux, zenox, DRo, Mentatmark, CoyoteMarti, Auriandra, Mathazar, BlueDragon, AnnetteK, quill, Liberal Granny, RhodaA, isabelle hayes, rexxnyc, a2nite, Deep Texan, AreDeutz, rukidingme, Trotskyrepublican, peachcreek, doroma, Buckeye54, ricklewsive, Kinak, Diane Gee, freshwater dan, Glen The Plumber, Portlaw, GoGoGoEverton, Shawn Russell, Late Again, remembrance, LiberalSage, weck, Icicle68, Smoh, LilithGardener, SC Lib, ConfusedSkyes

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site