Tracking Netanyahu’s US visit — Full text of Obama & Netanyahu statements now posted.

PM Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, arriving in NYC on Sunday.

PM Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, arriving in NYC on Sunday.

Israeli PM arrives at White House on Monday for 11:15am meeting with the President.

Israeli PM arrives at White House on Monday for 11:15am meeting with the President.

Israeli PM Netanyahu (left) and President Obama speak to the Press in the Oval Office. (photo credit: AP)

Israeli PM Netanyahu (left) and President Obama speak to the Press in the Oval Office. (photo credit: AP)

White House releases photo of handshake. How did the meeting really go?

White House releases photo of handshake. How did the meeting really go?

>> Damascus Countdown novel releases nationwide in paperback.

(Washington, D.C.) — Throughout the next several days, I’ll be Tweeting and blogging about the latest developments. Please check back regularly for updates and analysis.

Also, please pray that the Lord would give great wisdom to Prime Minister Netanyahu and his senior advisors, that they would be like “the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” (I Chronicles 12:32)

UPDATES (all times eastern, unless otherwise noted)




  • The White House just released a photo of a firm handshake between President Obama and PM Netanyahu.
  • So far, the optics of the Obama/Netanyahu meeting in the Oval Office look friendly.
  • But what’s being said behind closed doors?
  • Has Netanyahu come with new intelligence to share with the President?
  • Does the PM believe Iran has reached or crossed the “red line”?
  • How close is the PM to making a decision on military strikes?
  • What new developments may the President be sharing with the PM?
  • Does the President have a plan and a timetable for diplomatic talks with Iran?
  • Still waiting for details….developing.



First news flashes emerging from Oval Office meeting coming from an Israeli correspondent traveling with the Prime Minister….Barak Ravid, the diplomatic correspondent for Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, reports: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at the White House for a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday evening, just days after the historic phone call between Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rohani. Obama will attempt to utilize the meeting and the press conference afterward to assuage both Netanyahu’s concerns over the ongoing thaw in relations between the U.S. and Iran.”….Live blog by Haaretz (noted in Israeli local time):

  • 7:52 P.M.: Netanyahu: I remain committed to peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • 7:51 P.M.: Netanyahu: Iran is committed to Israel’s destruction, it must be forced to fully dismantle its nuclear program.
  • 7:49: P.M.: Netanyahu: We say in Hebrew the bottom line is important – and the bottom line is that Iran does not get nuclear weapons. Netanyahu also called for strengthening of sanctions and other pressure on Iran.
  • 7:47 P.M.: Obama: Because of the sanctions, Iran is ready to talk and we have to test their willingness in good faith. We won’t take any options off the table including military action to make sure Iran doesn’t get nuclear weapons.
  • 7:44 P.M.: Obama: We agreed it is paramount that Iran doesn’t achieve nuclear weapons.
  • 7:43 P.M.: Obama: We continue to have concerns about Egypt but remain committed to preserve Camp David accords.
  • 7:43 P.M.: Obama: We are pleased we have the possibility to get the chemical weapons out of Syria. We share the need to verify that chemical weapons are removed from Syria.


  • The President and PM have concluded their morning meeting. They are now making statements to the press in the Oval Office.
  • Media told no questions will be taken.
  • Will post details as they become available…..developing.


  • Netanyahu to extend trip in U.S. an extra day
  • Here’s the latest on the schedule (from the Times of Israel):
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has just landed in Washington.
  • He will meet with US President Barack Obama, after which he will have lunch with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden before heading to Foggy Bottom for a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry.
  • Netanyahu and Obama are expected to make a statement after their meeting, at about noon, but reporters will not be given the chance to ask questions.
  • Tonight, the prime minister will go back to New York for his speech tomorrow at the United Nations General Assembly, the last by a world leader at the session.
  • UPDATE: Netanyahu has “extended his trip an extra day to conduct interviews with the American press, a possible sign that he is trying to counter Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s charm offensive with one of his own.”


  • New CNN poll finds 75% of Americans support direct negotiations with Iran — “Large majorities in all major demographic categories favor negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program, including 87% of Democrats and 68% of Republicans. This is nothing new for the U.S. public — in 2009, virtually the same number of Americans said they favored negotiations with Iran,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
  • Question: How will US government on the verge of a shutdown affect the Netanyahu visit?

9:15am Monday:

Update: 10:00pm Sunday — Here’s a snapshot of what’s ahead.

  • On Sunday, Prime Minister Netanyahu, his wife Sara, and his senior advisors, arrived in the United States — VIDEO of PM’s arrival, motorcade into NYC.
  • On Sunday, the PM will meet with the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan, and John Baird, the Foreign Minister of Canada.
  • On Monday, the PM will meet with President Obama.
  • Later on Monday, the PM will also meet with Vice President Biden at the White House.
  • The focus of these talks will be the Iran nuclear threat, the Rouhani charm offensive, the Syrian crisis, and the next steps in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
  • Monday will mark the last day in office for Michael Oren as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States.
  • On Tuesday, Netanyahu will be the final speaker of the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City.
  • Tuesday will mark the first day in office for Ron Dermer, Israel’s new Ambassador to the U.S.

Update: 9:45pm Sunday — LATEST NEWS COVERAGE:


>> I will be speaking at a major conference in New York City this week on the future of Israel. Please join us.

>> Track the latest developments and analysis on Twitter — @JoelCRosenberg.

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