President Obama’s refusal to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister comes to Washington in March to address a joint meeting of Congress is a petulant, juvenile snub — one that couldn’t be more badly timed.
The Israeli leader “spat in our face,” an unnamed senior U.S. official told Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “and there will be a price.” An unnamed source “close to Kerry” told the Washington Post the House speech “could blunt Secretary Kerry’s enthusiasm for being Israel’s primary defender.”
That’s gangster talk, aimed at one of America’s closest allies — all because the Israeli leader dared to accept House Speaker John Boehner’s to address Congress on the emerging Iranian nuclear threat without consulting them first.
Too bad. Boehner leads the House. He can invite who he wants. Netanyahu leads his country. He can speak where he likes.
In fact, it’s completely understandable that the prime minister would accept the speaker’s invitation — because the President, who should be happily receiving him, has made a hash of the Washington-Jerusalem relationship.