Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO / Flash 90
Netanyahu looking exceptionally cheerful in the Oval Office, March 4, 2014.

For those readers who have become avid fans of the soap opera unfolding in the White House around the drama between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a tidbit just for you.

On Friday, as the White House press corps was engaged in its usual back-and-forth with spokesperson Josh Earnest, they finally managed to force a truth from his lips: The President and the Prime Minister, he said, have a “fundamental disagreement” about diplomatic talks with Iran.

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Netanyahu “doesn’t share [Obama’s] view,” Earnest admitted. But still, he claimed, those “differences of opinion” don’t undermine the “unshakable” American commitment to Israel’s security.

On America’s terms, of course. And if it happens to prove mistaken and an existential threat to the Jewish State, which is about the size of New Jersey, well. . .

<menacing music>

As it happens, most members of Congress also have a “fundamental disagreement” with the President about the diplomatic talks with Iran, it seems. Not just the Republicans, who comprise the majority in both houses, but there are a fair number of Democrats who also believe Iran is using the talks simply to gain more time for its covert nuclear development activities.

And Iranians have long made it clear both in the street and in their mosques that their targets will not be limited to Israel; America is in the cross-hairs as well. Members of the intelligence community are well aware of it, as are members of Congress and the Israeli government.

So as early as last October, U.S. Rep. John Boehner was talking to Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer about inviting Netanyahu to address the Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat. The formal invitation was made public last week – and accepted as well – to the apparent “surprise” of the White House.

It’s a bit hard to believe that any of The President’s Men – or Women – could be caught off guard. But let’s leave that bit for quiet contemplation.

It turns out the annual AIPAC conference is being held in March this year – a “must” for every Israeli head of state, and Netanyahu is no exception. The address to Congress made much more sense scheduled around AIPAC, and was penciled in for the same week.

Utter fury at the White House. Sarcastic remarks from press secretary Josh Earnest, with a reference to the Speaker of the House making a “departure from protocol.” On the Prime Minister’s visit, Earnest was altogether tight-lipped, saying his boss was “reserving judgment.”

Later reporters were told that neither Obama nor Secretary of State John Kerry would meet with Israel’s head of state while he is in Washington for both events.

Imagine. One of America’s “closest allies” comes to the capital and neither the President nor the Secretary of State makes time to meet with him, when the United States shares military, intelligence, economy, academic and who knows how many other priorities with Israel.

Not to mention their “differences of opinion” that are so important to work out – something that one would believe an administration so committed to the process of “diplomacy” would consider a priority.

The White House spokesperson tried to put a good face on it.

“As a matter of long-standing practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country,” he explained Thursday.

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27 COMMENTS

  1. From the president who told us if you like your plan you can keep your plan I have no reason to put my trust in him on Iran. Basically, he is saying "trust me", and I don't. Iran with nuclear weapons would become a world problem on par with the Nazi regime. In saving Israel Bibi is saving the world from the catastrophe of a nuclear Iran.

  2. Can you believe that the Speaker of the House, John Boehner would make a "Departure from protocol" shame on him! We all know that King Obama would never do a no no like that, he is always careful to play by the book (unfortunately, its a book that he wrote).

  3. Maynard Miller, you are simply an ignorant idiot! Keep in mind if President Obama were the king, you would already be in the dungeon and well on your way to the gallows! Just because you disagree with him does not mean your are correct! John Boehner makes departures form protocol and tradition all the time! He lies to the people all the time! He is a very evil person who is hurting the United States! BTW, what he did by inviting Bibi is against US law and he will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!

  4. Lets be honest here, Boehner invited Bibi to speak to congress for no other reason than to embarrass President Obama! He invited him to speak to a joint session of congress at the beginning of Feb. it was Bibi who changed it to March to coincide with AIPAC meetings! This way he can meet with two different groups for the same price.

    Boehner and McConnell are breaking the US Law and will probably be prosecuted for this violation as others have been!

  5. …Will Netanyahu shake the hand of Steve Scalise? Will meet with a man who spoke at a KKK rally? The president has No misgivings to the sneaky way of the House Speaker & BiBi. But don't add trust in any way to Israel with Ben at the head. He blew it. Romney, McCain, and then Romney, Boehner, and now Scalise. The guy can't be trusted…

  6. Obama has an ego problem , I agree that Bibi should be aloud to speak at congress , it is very one right to express their concerns , I am 100% for bibi speaking at congress , and if I may reminded the american people , Obama has gone aganist congress , I am american citizen living in Israel, I plan to vote for bibi in the Israeli election , because Bibi is a very smart man and knows his job and knows how to fight back to protect the Israeli people , The white house staff and the president should stop acting like children and act like adults!

  7. Obama is not going to meet with Netanyahu on his visit
    That is just great !
    This snub has added mileage to the visit Netanyahu will be speaking where it counts : to the American people And he will drive his point home with fact upon fact
    The Middle East is simmering anew with the fall of the Yemeni regime and change in Saudi Arabia
    The US public will be asking : is this the way we treat our most reliable ally ,in the most unstable part of the world ?
    To Israel, our longstanding ally , Iran is an existential and immediate threat Israel lives with this every day To pass up an opportunity to address the American people would be costly beyond conception .

  8. Boehner and McConnell broke no law by this invitation to address Congress. Obama has seen fit on too many occasions to ignore Congress when it suits his purposes, even when it DOES break the law of the U.S. Constitution. So now Congress has seen fit to ignore Obama. Obama does not like the separation of powers and has torn it asunder. So Congress is acting accordingly. Let's see how Obama likes it when he has to eat the meal he cooked.

  9. Gail Lobel Rand Are you really a Lobel? Lobel's are all very smart and your response does not seem like you are smart! There is a federal law that prohibits Citizens from dealing directly with the leaders of foreign governments. It is the Logan Law and has been on the books since 1799 and has been used to put some other law makers in prison. John Boehner has no power to do what he did. Of course that did not stop him from doing it! All repubs (OK I'll be fair and include dems) elected, think they have unlimited power do to what they want but they do. In this case, I sincerely hope Attorney General Holder enforces the law and has Boehner and McConnell arrested! It would be interesting and fun to watch these two fools try to defend themselves by saying we only did what the people wants! I am part of those people and I did not want this to happen!

  10. Pamela Myers You are greatly mistaken when you say President Obama broke the law! He has not and no matter what you think, does not make you correct! Everyone of executive orders has been legal. Had any one of the executive orders been illegal, the repubs would have been all over it and someone would have filed legislation to stop it or file articles of impeachment! Articles of Impeachment would have sailed through the house, but he would never have been found guilty in the Senate! Even now If the repubs thought he would have actually broken the law (according to the US Constitution, which you apparently have not read, and even if you did, you do not understand what you read,) Articles would still loose in the Senate, if nothing else the Chief Justice would rule that the charges are not up to Constitutional standards. The republicans know this so they have not filed any charges.

    As for Boehner and McConnell breaking they law, YES THEY DID! I am not going to do the work for you but Google the Logan law! You can get back to me with your apology!

  11. Thanks for the compliment. I didn't know you liberals could write. Boehner is a wimp but at least he is trying to do something for the US and for Israel, our most important ally. Whereas Obama takes my tax money and supports those countries who want to wipe Israel off the map. Baa humbug!

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