The real reason Obama - and Kerry and Biden - won't meet with Netanyahuthe way Netanyahu's invitation to Washington came about. It also has nothing to do with the Israeli elections which will take place two weeks after Netanyahu's visit.
The real reason why Obama, Kerry and Biden won't meet with Netanyahu is a 'policy disagreement.' Obama has asked Netanyahu to stop lobbying Congress for more sanctions against Iran, and Netanyahu, with his country's best interests at heart, won't let up.
U.S. President Barack Obama has demanded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stop encouraging U.S. senators and congressmen to advance new sanctions legislation against Iran.
A senior American official, who asked to remain anonymous due to the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue, said Obama gave Netanyahu this message during a telephone call on Monday, January 12.
Obama stressed to Netanyahu that he is seeking to reach an agreement with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons and assure the international community in a verifiable fashion that Iran’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, the official added. But new sanctions legislation is liable to sabotage the negotiations that Obama and five other countries are conducting with Iran, the president said. He told the Israeli leader that should such legislation pass Congress, he intends to veto it.
Obama also warned Netanyahu not to meddle in the battle he is waging against Congress over the sanctions legislation, the official said. This warning was issued more than a week before Speaker of the House John Boehner publicly invited Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress. Netanyahu’s address, which will take place at the height of the battle between Obama and the Republican-controlled Congress, is expected to focus on the Iranian nuclear issue and what he sees as the need to ratchet up the pressure on the Iran.
At Netanyahu’s behest, both Israeli Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer and members of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, have been urging members of Congress in recent weeks to advance legislation to impose new sanctions on Iran. Netanyahu has also urged new sanctions on Iran in all his meetings with American legislators, including his meeting earlier this week with a delegation headed by Republican Senator John McCain.
"We thought we've seen everything," a senior American official said. "But Bibi managed to surprise even us. There are things you simply don't do. He spat in our face publicly and that's no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price."Obama is about as lame a duck as one can find. He's in the home stretch of his second and final term as President. The Republicans control both houses of Congress. He needs Netanyahu to have any kind of foreign policy legacy that's connected to the Middle East. And if he goes too far, he will drive pro-Israel donors away from the Democratic party for years to come.