His once pew sitter and current President has dissed a jew leader… big-time:
For a head of state to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of.
Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip seen in Jerusalem tonight as a disastrous humiliation.
After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on Jewish settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisors and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman who spoke to the Prime Minister said today.
“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House phone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.
Left to talk among themselves, Mr Netanyahu and his aides retreated to the Roosevelt Room. He later spent a further half-hour with Mr Obama and extended his stay for a day of emergency talks aimed at restarting peace negotiations, but left last night with no official statement from either side. He returns to Israel dangerously isolated after what Israeli media have called a White House ambush for which he is largely to blame.
Sources said that Mr Netanyahu failed to impress Mr Obama with a flow chart purporting to show that he was not be responsible for the timing of announcements of new settlement projects in east Jerusalem. Mr Obama was said to be livid when such an announcement derailed Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel this month, and his anger towards Israel does not appear to have cooled.
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, cast doubt on minor details in Israeli accounts of the meeting but did not deny claims that it amounted to a dressing down for the Prime Minister, whose refusal to freeze settlements is seen in Washington as the main barrier to resuming peace talks.
The Likud leader now has to try to square the demands of the Obama Administration with his nationalist, ultra-Orthodox coalition partners, who want him to stand up to Washington, even though Israel desperately needs US backing in confronting the looming threat of a nuclear Iran.
“The Prime Minister leaves America disgraced, isolated and altogether weaker than when he came,” the Israeli daily Ha’aretz said.
He bows to enemies and disses friends. He strengthens and emboldens our enemies while chastising and weakening our allies.
He’s your hope and change President.
Crossposted at Brutally Honest.