Friday, March 26, 2010

Bibi Snubbed by Barack Obama? Oy veh

A woeful diplomatic encounter in Washington between the leaders of Israel and Washington resulted in no official photo, no state dinner, and considerable paranoia and petulance on the part of the Netanyahu administration, obviously unaccustomed to being dressed down after basking in applause at a rapturous AIPAC meeting. News media in Israel are agog, and the Times of London weighs in from Washington about what really went down. See it here, and cringe at the range of informed or vile comments and talkback. As expected, the Israeli leadership has stuck to its guns, rolled up its flow chart and is adamant that no alterations in policy decisions about building in East Jerusalem will be made to suit US demands.

1 comment:

Izzy Bee said...

Note that the Financial Times says this:

he showed relish, and invested a certain amount of thought, in fashioning a humiliation for Mr Netanyahu. It was a rare glimpse of him behaving as an alpha male in response to someone who had treated him as a pushover, most recently in a speech in Washington on Monday, by openly mocking Mr Obama’s desire for a settlements freeze in Jerusalem.

The president’s revenge the following evening was perhaps rendered with the swagger of a man who had a few hours before enacted a reform that eluded all his Democratic predecessors. Then again, maybe not. “I think it’s safe to say that Obama really, really dislikes Netanyahu,” says an unpaid White House foreign policy adviser. In a calculated snub, the Israeli prime minister was ushered into the White House for a meeting with no photographers to record it. After 90 minutes of unfriendly discussion, he was left to stew in the Roosevelt room with his advisers while Mr Obama went and ate supper alone (his family was in New York). They then resumed their meeting.

It may sound trivial. But by the standards of diplomacy, particularly those of US-Israeli diplomacy, Mr Obama’s behaviour was rude. It was read as such in Israel – with quite a lot of Israelis approving, according to the country’s media.

More generally, Mr Obama’s success with healthcare at home ought to increase respect for him abroad.