Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu jabbed President Barack Obama in the ego Thursday in an announcement of his accepting an invitation by Congressional Speaker John Boehner to address a joint session of Senators and representatives next month.
Just by coincidence, pure coincidence, the Prime Minister will be speaking two weeks before the Knesset elections, a situation which gave Obama the opportunity to rule out a meeting with his sparring partner as a matter of standard operating procedure that the president does not meet with visiting dignitaries near an election.
Whether Boehner invited Netanyahu or whether the Prime Minister invited himself doesn’t matter to President Obama.
Netanyahu advised the American Ambassador but did not notify the president before Boehner made public that the Prime Minister will address Congress, a move that the White House officially said departed from protocol but really meant was a direct cut at Obama.
The office of the Prime Minister poured salt on the cut Thursday when it announced:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted the invitation sent by Speaker John Boehner, on behalf of the bipartisan leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate, to address a joint meeting of Congress…..
The address will provide an opportunity for the Prime Minister to thank President Obama, the US Congress and the American people for their support of Israel.
Netanyahu has cornered Obama. He will profusely thank the president for the support that both men know is grudging.
And since the president is supporting Israel, and since Israel wants tough sanctions on Iran to remain, just like Boehner does, it only is logical that Obama is really not supporting Israel if he vetoes a Congressional bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran if does not conclude negotiations on limiting its nuclear program by the next diplomatic deadline, which keeps getting extended while Tehran plays for time.
In case Obama did not get the message from Netanyahu that the Prime Minister and the president are on the same page, even if in a different book.
Netanyahu’s office added:
“Just last week I discussed with President Obama the common challenges we face from Islamist extremism, including resurgent terrorism and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.
“I look forward to being able to share with the joint session Israel’s vision for working together to address these threats and to reiterate Israel’s commitment to the bond that unites our two democracies.”
Netanyahu, like most of us, heard or read Obama’s State of the Union address this week in which he vowed to fight terror but, instead of mentioning “Islamist extremism,” made clear that “we continue to reject offensive stereotypes of Muslims — the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace.”
Pass the salt, please.