Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be in Washington the first week of March to deliver a speech at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobby group. The meeting is scheduled to run March 4-5-6. [AIPAC is THE place for American politicians to be seen, because this is a pro-Israel organization.]
It seems that President Obama has invited Mr. Netanyahu to visit the White House on March 5. I’m guessing tensions will be high between these two world leaders, considering the Iran situation. I will be curious to see if Mr. Obama will excuse himself from the meeting to go into the private quarters to dine with his family.
Recall the various humiliations Obama served up to Netanyahu since March of 2010.
The White House denied Netanyahu the red carpet treatment generally afforded to visiting heads of state.
The Israeli prime minister and Obama didn’t pose for photos together, and Netanyahu was excluded from dinner with the president Tuesday night.
When Netanyahu wouldn’t agree to concessions, Obama left a meeting with him, though he invited Netanyahu to stay at the White House, talk to Obama advisers and “let me know if there is anything new,” a U.S. congressman who spoke to Netanyahu, told The Times of London.
“It was awful,” the congressman said.
One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages,” conducted in such an adversarial environment that the Israeli delegation eventually left, worried that their White House phone conversations were being bugged.
Another Israeli paper wrote that Netanyahu received “the treatment reserved for the president of Equatorial Guinea”.
A year later the tension boiled over again when Obama ambushed Netanyahu on the eve of another visit by announcing his intention to make the 1967 lines be the starting point for future peace negotiations. But the ploy backfired on Obama when even most members of his own party backed Netanyahu’s opposition to the stand. Barack was forced to endure a public lecture by the prime minister on the topic of Israel’s security and then look on as Netanyahu was cheered like a conquering hero by a joint meeting of Congress.
But it is impossible to ignore the political implications of this March 5 summit. With evidence mounting that Obama and the Democrats have been bleeding Jewish support in the last year, the visit will take the president’s charm offensive aimed at convincing the Jewish community he is Israel’s best friend to a new level. Netanyahu has good reason to play along with Obama’s pretense, as he may have to go on dealing with him until January 2017. [gag!]