Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Obama Will Not Meet Netanyahu -- Avoiding Confrontation With Iran Till After Elections (Updated)

And leaving Israel out to dry

Just yesterday, the State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland made clear although Obama eschewed the idea of redlines and deadlines,  the Obama administration was committed to intense consultations with Israel on Iran :
We are absolutely firm about the President's commitment here, but it is not useful to be parsing it, to be setting deadlines one way or the other, redlines. It is most important that we stay intensely focused on the pressure on Iran, the opportunity for Iran to fix this situation through the diplomacy that we've offered, and intensive consultations with Israel and all the other regional states. [emphasis added]

But apparently not that intensive.

Despite the fact that
  • Iran rushing to go nuclear
  • Iran is not cooperating on opening all of its nuclear facilities to inspection
  • Iran regularly threatens to destroy Israel
  • US intelligence on Iran's nuclear progress has been less than accurate
  • There are indications Iran is aiming for nuclear weapons
  • Iran is a supporter of global terrorism
  • Iran is responsible for the death of hundreds of US troops 

With everything pointing to the urgency of the moment, Haaretz is reporting today that White House declines Netanyahu request to meet with Obama:
The White House declined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's request on Tuesday to meet U.S. President Barack Obama during a UN conference in New York at the end of the month.

An official in Jerusalem said that the prime minister's office sent the White House a message stating that although Netanyahu will spend only two and a half days on U.S. soil, he is interested in meeting Obama and is willing to travel to the U.S. capital specifically for that purpose. The official added that the White House rejected the request and said that at this time Obama's schedule does not allow for a meeting.

The White House's response marks a new low in relations between Netanyahu and Obama, underscored by the fact that this is the first time Netanyahu will visit the U.S. as prime minister without meeting the president.
Credit: Toxichominoid
Of course, you can hardly blame Obama -- he is up for reelection, and November is less than 60 days away.

The last thing Obama wants is to have to be pushed to give deadlines and redlines to Iran as Netanyahu has requested.

After all, Iran will ignore Obama and makes Obama's failed foreign policy just that much more obvious.
Better to lay low and avoid any entanglements and confrontations.

At least until after the elections, when Obama will have more "space."
Then, Obama can continue the same dangerous policies that have brought the Middle East to where it is today.

Islamist extremists can hardly wait.

UPDATE:

From November 2009, the last time Obama refused to meet Netanyahu:Does Obama delay in scheduling Netanyahu meet point to crisis?:
Relations between Israel and the United States are in crisis. This is the conclusion that stems from the difficulty in arranging a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama.

The White House wanted Netanyahu to sweat before being granted an audience with the president, and wanted everyone to see him perspire.

The delays in finding a time to meet, and pushing it to a late hour - after the news programs on Israeli television - make Netanyahu look as if Obama threw him a bone. In such circumstances, it is no longer important what will be said at the meeting, and the extent to which there will be an attempt to present it as an achievement. The prime minister of Israel was humiliated before all.
Hat tip: Noah Pollak

The question is not whether Obama has Israel's back.
The question is: what is that sharp object Obama is holding in his hand?

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