And the official talking point for the LSM next week will be…
Obama met the Israeli leader in the White House on Tuesday but did not dine with his visitor and, by keeping the talks closed to the media, also denied Netanyahu the courtesy of a photo-opportunity with the president.
Obama didn’t want to be seen with Netanyahu, because it might anger those he considers his real friends [bullet points about halfway down].
Axelrod noted that the two leaders had met in private for two hours and had better things to do with their time than worry about protocol.
“Protocol” is how the world sees you treat your “friends”. What the world sees today is an administration seemingly bound to destroy a friendship between the US and it’s only real ally in that area.
Axelrod told CNN: “This was not about formalities. This was not about a ceremonial meeting. This was a working meeting. We have a deep, abiding interest in Israel’s security. And we believe the peace process is essential to that. And we are doing everything we can to move that process forward.”
So the very first thing Obama does to “move the process forward” is to slap a list of demands on Netanyahu;
He immediately presented Mr Netanyahu with a list of 13 demands designed both to the end the feud with his administration and to build Palestinian confidence ahead of the resumption of peace talks. Key among those demands was a previously-made call to halt all new settlement construction in east Jerusalem.
When the Israeli prime minister stalled, Mr Obama rose from his seat declaring: “I’m going to the residential wing to have dinner with Michelle and the girls.”
As he left, Mr Netanyahu was told to consider the error of his ways. “I’m still around,” Mr Obama is quoted by Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper as having said. “Let me know if there is anything new.”
There’s a working relationship? You’ll do this, one way or another, and I’ll be back if you change your mind and see things my way; the Chicago way.
Sending a clear message of his displeasure, Mr Obama treated his guest to a series of slights. Photographs of the meeting were forbidden and an Israeli request to issue a joint-statement once it was over were turned down.
“There is no humiliation exercise that the Americans did not try on the prime minister and his entourage,” Israel’s Maariv newspaper reported. “Bibi received in the White House the treatment reserved for the president of Equatorial Guinea.” [bolding mine]
The above shows a vastly different scenario than the one Axlerod presents today on the Sunday shows.
With “friends” like Obama…