UPDATED: Signaling a new low in U.S.-Israeli relations — especially with a possible major war in the Middle East so close at hand — President Obama turned down two possibilities for a personal meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the Israeli premier comes to the U.S. later this month. Obama aides say the President simply doesn’t have time on his schedule for Netanyahu. The President reportedly will have time to appear on “The Late Show” with David Letterman while he’s at the U.N. meetings, however. A Wall Street Journal editorial on Wednesday morning said the White House message to Israel seems to be, “You’re on your own, pal.”
In some of his strongest comments to date (comments that struck me as suggesting the Israeli leader may be so fed up with the White House that he is ready to go it alone against Iran), Netanyahu told reporters on Tuesday that because the international community refuses to set “red lines” for Iran’s nuclear program or even a deadline for diplomacy and economic sanctions to be effective or be terminated, the world has “no moral right” to tell the Israeli government it cannot take military action to defend her people.
On Wednesday night at the opening of the 2012 Epicenter Conference, I will speak on the “State of the Epicenter,” discuss the implications of these tensions between the American and Israeli leader, and analyze how close Israel and Iran are to an actual war. The conference will be webcast live at 9pm eastern at www.epicenterconference.com. It will also be available for viewing on-demand any time day or night from anywhere in the world.
ABC News reports: “An Israeli official told ABC News that Netanyahu’s office requested a meeting with Obama but was told that because of the president’s tight schedule it wouldn’t be possible. The official admitted that with just a day and a half open, the window wasn’t very big, although the official said the Israelis did offer to go to Washington if a meeting in New York was not possible. The meeting was requested when the trip was made official more than a week ago and was declined “in the last few days,” according to the Israeli official. This will be the first time Netanyahu has visited the United States as prime minister and not met with Obama.”
“Netanyahu is traveling to the U.S. to attend the U.N. General Assembly. Obama is expected to address the UNGA on September 25, while Netanyahu will speak in New York on September 28,” reports Ynet News.
This is very disturbing behavior for an American President who says that America “will always have Israel’s back” and claims Israel is one of America’s “greatest allies.” The President should always make time for an ally facing the growing threat of a nuclear holocaust. A Wall Street Journal editorial on Wednesday morning said the White House message to Israel seems to be, “You’re on your own, pal.”
“In a blistering response to a Sunday statement by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that the United States is ‘not setting deadlines’ for Iran to abandon its alleged weapons program, Netanyahu said that if no ‘red line’ is established, Iran will continue to pursue an atomic bomb,” reported the Washington Post. “‘The world tells Israel: ‘Wait. There’s still time.’ And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel,” Netanyahu told reporters in Jerusalem.”
Rather than meet in person, the two leaders spoke by phone on Tuesday.
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