Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
Shortly after the passing of Benzion Netanyahu, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney sent his condolences to the late professor’s son, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Romney and Netanyahu have been on friendly terms for years. “This is a loss for all of Israel and for all who care about Israel,” Romney said about the elder Netanyahu’s passing in a tweet.
That aside, the Jewish Blogosphere is exploding with messages about the fact that US President Barack Obama has supposedly not yet conveyed his own condolences to the prime minister.
As strange as that may seem, when The Jewish Press staff searched the White House website, they could not find the text of the presidents’ words of comfort to Netanyahu, nor has a lengthy Google search yielded any such document.
A sleepy White House switchboard operator told us we should call after the start of the work day in DC.
A call to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office yielded a firm statement that it is “very much against protocol to make public this kind of personal exchanges between heads of state”.
Last year, President Obama sent condolences to Israeli President Shimon Peres over the loss of his wife, as well as to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the death of his mother last year
We have no doubt that the president has indeed conveyed his sorrow over Netanyahu’s loss, we’d just like to read it.
Update: The White House announced that the President called Netanyahu on Wednesday to convey his condolences. The readout is as follows:
President Obama called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel today from Air Force One to express his personal condolences on the death of his father, Benzion Netanyahu. In the call the President noted Benzion Netanyahu’s remarkable legacy of service to the Jewish people and deep friendship with the United States.
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