Heads of State

Silence After Obama, Bibi Meetings

People looking for a clue as to what President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjaman Netanyahu discussed in two meetings on Tuesday night have only silence to guess by: “The meetings were shrouded in unusual secrecy,” says Politico—no press was allowed and neither side released the usual post-meeting readout. Obama and Netanyahu’s first meeting lasted 90 minutes—half an hour longer than scheduled. Obama then retired, but returned for an additional 35 minutes after Netanyahu requested another meeting. Afterward, Netanyahu's people released a statement saying the meetings “were conducted in a good atmosphere." An American source tells Haaretz that Obama and Hillary Clinton are trying to “test” Netanyahu to see if he’ll make good on his promise of a gesture of good will toward the Palestinians. Presumably, Israel’s announcement that it will expand another settlement in east Jerusalem is not what they had in mind.