Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO
Bibi and Biden hugging in Jerusalem, on March 9, 2016.

On Monday night, Israel’s Government Press Office released a joyous statement under the headline, “President Biden invites Prime Minister Netanyahu to meet in the US.” But comparing this statement to what President Biden chose to release shows a significant gap between the two versions.

Here’s the full text from Netanyahu:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Joe Biden had a long and warm conversation this evening.
The conversation focused on bolstering the strong bond between the nations; thwarting threats from Iran and its proxies; expanding the circle of peace; and the continued efforts to deescalate and stabilize the situation in Judea and Samaria (renewing the Aqaba–Sharm El-Sheikh process).
The Prime Minister updated the President of the United States on the bill that is slated to be passed next week by the Knesset and on his intention to reach wide public support for the rest of the reform during the summer recess.
President Biden invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to meet soon in the United States. The Prime Minister accepted the invitation and it was agreed that Israeli and American teams will coordinate the details of the meeting.

I’ll share a secret with you: if you wish to know exactly what Biden said to Bibi, the White House has a website where a statement to that effect is available, titled, “Readout of President Joe Biden’s Call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.” So, here goes:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to discuss a broad range of global and regional issues of mutual concern.
The President underscored his iron-clad, unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and condemned recent acts of terror against Israeli citizens.
The two consulted on our close coordination to counter Iran, including through regular and ongoing joint military exercises.
They noted that US-Israel partnership remains a cornerstone in preventing Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon.
The President stressed the need to take measures to maintain the viability of a two-state solution and improve the security situation in the West Bank.
To that end, he welcomed Israel’s willingness to consider new steps to support Palestinian livelihoods and recognized promising steps by the Palestinian Authority to reassert security control in Jenin and other areas of the West Bank.
He expressed concern about continued settlement growth and called on all parties to refrain from further unilateral measures.
The two leaders agreed to consult with regional partners with the aim of convening a meeting soon in the Aqaba/Sharm format as soon as possible.
They also consulted on progress towards establishing a more integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Middle East, including through efforts to deepen and expand normalization with countries in the region and beyond.
Finally, President Biden reiterated, in the context of the current debate in Israel about judicial reform, the need for the broadest possible consensus, and that shared democratic values have always been and must remain a hallmark of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Not one word about a visit. The only Israeli leader to see the inside of the Oval Office in the foreseeable future is President Itzhak Herzog. The only meeting Bibi was offered is with Israel’s Arab neighbors.

I’m sincerely sorry.

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