09.11.12 8:00 PM ET
Obama Disses Bibi
After a very strong rebuke from Benjamin Netanyahu today on Iran policy, the White House announced that President Obama won't be meeting with the Israeli premiere when he visits the U.S. for the U.N. General Assembly later this month. It'll be Netanyahu's first U.S. trip without meeting Obama. The administration, apparently, is not taking too kindly to all the public pressure from Israel over Iran.
The rebuke from Netanyahu came after Hillary Clinton yesterday refused to shift or emphatically restate U.S. "red lines" on Iran. Israeli officials anonymously complained to news outlets. Then today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined them, very much on-the-record, with criticisms of and threats against the U.S. so thinly-veiled as to be completely transparent:
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...
Now if Iran knows that there is no red line. If Iran knows that there is no deadline, what will it do? Exactly what it's doing. It's continuing, without any interference, towards obtaining nuclear weapons capability and from there, nuclear bombs.
When U.S. governments seek to pressure Israel, her right-wing defenders are fond of saying this constitutes an attempt to "undermine Israel’s government," the democratically elected representatives of Israel's people. So what about America's democracy? Isn't the American government also duly elected to carry out the will of its people? And since 70 percent of those people oppose an American strike on Iran, one can safely assume they also don't want the President to lay down lines which could commit America to such a war at an unknown time in the future. (That's not to mention that the U.S. security establishment also seems less-than-thrilled about an attack.)
For what it's worth, Obama's rival in the presidential race has said, "Diplomatic distance in our public between our nations emboldens Israel’s adversaries." Getting the impression this criticism only cuts one way?