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November 9, 2009
Obama Grants Bibi an Audience at the Last Minute
President Obama waited until late Sunday to agree to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington yesterday (Monday), where the PM was making a speech before a group of Jewish organizations.
It is unusual, although not unprecedented, for an Israeli Prime Minister to visit Washington without meeting with the US president; but in this case, Obama kept Netanyahu on tenterhooks until the 11th hour regarding whether or not O would deign to see Bibi. As the Wall Street Journal reported:
U.S. officials said the delay, which stretched until late Sunday, stemmed from last-minute discussions aimed at gaining a more robust and public commitment to the peace track from Mr. Netanyahu.
Apparently, the price of obtaining even an audience with His Obamaness has gone up; and what was usually a normal (and free) meeting between allies has now become a leveraged privilege used to seek further concessions from the Jewish State -- while no particular concessions are demanded from the Palestinians. Clinton, I remember, used to do something along these lines with large donations and sleepovers in the Lincoln Bedroom.