Obama sends PM surprise invite to White House meeting next week

Netanyahu will fly to Paris before U.S. trip to participate in an OECD meeting, which Israel has just been invited to join.

Barak Ravid

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold another White House meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama next Tuesday, Israeli officials said yesterday.

The visit to Washington is being tacked on to the end of Netanyahu’s previously scheduled trip to Canada.

Netanyahu will meet in Jerusalem with Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, on Wednesday, who is currently in Israel on vacation. Israeli officials expect that Emanuel will bring the official invitation to next week’s meeting with him…

…Israeli officials said that Obama wanted to meet with Netanyahu soon, before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrives in Washington for his White House meeting in another few weeks, due to the crisis in relations between Israel and the U.S. and the substantial criticism Obama has taken over it, both from congressmen and from American Jewish leaders.

In recent weeks, the White House has made great efforts to counter this criticism. Last week, Obama met with Jewish congressmen to stress his commitment to Israel’s security, while two key aides – Dennis Ross and Dan Shapiro – held similar talks with Jewish leaders. To concretize the administration’s commitment to Israel’s security, Obama also approved additional funding for Israel’s Iron Dome system for defense against short-range rockets.

The Israeli sources said that Washington wants to try to obliterate the memory of the last White House meeting between Obama and Netanyahu. At that meeting, in March, the press was barred and the White House did not even release a joint photo of the two leaders. This treatment – so different from the warm and well-publicized meetings Obama had held with various Arab leaders who visited Washington – was widely viewed as a deliberate attempt to humiliate Netanyahu…

Read the entire article at PoliJam.com

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