White House Getting Creative for Netanyahu Snub
This is personal.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t flinch when Democrats called for a boycott of his upcoming address to a joint session of Congress. Most would agree he had no reason to—for all of their bluster, only 23 dems signed on to a trumped-up letter demanding the speech be cancelled; Nancy Pelosi put out a statement insisting Netanyahu stay home, but Netanyahu is famous for ignoring those who insist he go away.
The man is no stranger to backlash.
That Netanyahu will address Congress is becoming increasingly inevitable; but the White House is still busy making moves to rebut the speech while bolstering the President’s controversial upcoming nuclear deal with Iran.
From ABC News:
Among them: a presidential interview with a prominent journalist known for coverage of the rift between Obama and Netanyahu, multiple Sunday show television appearances by senior national security aides and a pointed snub of America’s leading pro-Israel lobby, which is holding its annual meeting while Netanyahu is in Washington, according to the officials.
The administration has already ruled out meetings between Netanyahu and Obama, saying it would be inappropriate for the two to meet so close to Israel’s March 17 elections. But the White House is now doubling down on a cold-shoulder strategy, including dispatching Cabinet members out of the country and sending a lower-ranking official than normal to represent the administration at the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the officials said.
Vice President Joe Biden will be away, his absence behind Netanyahu conspicuous in coverage of the speech to Congress. Other options were described by officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.
It’s not just about the speech. According to staff associated with the pro-Israel AIPAC conference, the White House is signaling that it intends to break with precedent and decline invitations extended to senior administration officials.
Republicans in Congress aren’t letting this go without a fight. Just over a week ago, Florida Senator Marco Rubio stood on the floor of the Senate and publicly called out Democrats’ plan to boycott:
Polls attempting to reflect where the American people stand on the address are mixed. A February 18 poll by GOP-leaning McLaughlin & Associates showed that 59% of likely general election voters support Netanyahu addressing Congress; a CNN poll released just a day earlier showed that 63% of Americans side with the White House.
This type of reaction has nothing to do with a “breach in diplomatic protocol,” and it probably has less to do with Iran’s nuclear capabilities than the Democratic leadership would like to admit. For years, Americans—especially conservative Americans—have looked to Netanyahu to lead in the Middle East; Obama’s time in office thus far has only reinforced that idea. This Administration’s approach to peace in the Middle East has consisted mostly of tiptoeing around the use of the word “terrorist” during press briefings about acts of barbarism committed by terrorists; in contrast, Netanyahu looks like a bona fide lightbringer.
Why? Because, all things considered, Benjamin Netanyahu stands for something—which is more than this leaf-in-the-wind Administration can say for its fearless leader.
We’ll keep you updated on Netanyahu…-gate? Can we call this Netanyahu-gate yet?
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What a shame !!!!!!
Did anyone EVER thought this possible?
When did we start treating the friends and allies of the American people this way?
How did the anti-Israel bigotry make it all the way inside the walls of the White House and Congress??
Is this the so-called “fundamental transformation”? It is disgusting and shameful.
Poll results without the text of the poll questions are meaningless. The link to the CNN poll did not have the text of the poll questions.
The questions for the CNN poll are available if you click “poll” in the Mediate link. And no, the question was not simply “do you support Netanyahu addressing Congress.” It was about whether the republicans were right or wrong to invite him w/o getting Preezy B’s permission first.
I can’t paste text or links into comments here, but someone who can might like to show the link and cut & paste the actual questions.
…and I’ll add, this is why it’s dangerous for LI bloggers to just unquestioningly report whatever garbage the leftblogs like Mediate spew as “fact”.
Amy in Fl, thank you.
Here is the question:
25. Do you think Congressional leaders did the right thing or the wrong thing by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress without first notifying the president that they would do so?
To my mind, the phrase “without first notifying the president that they would do so” is problematic; the “nos” could be over something as simple as basic politeness.
Thanks, gettimothy & JoAnne – you posted just as I was moving to my Real Computer and putting together the links myself 🙂
As you can see, I had the same impression about it being more a question of politeness or good manners. Very dishonest reporting by the “usual suspects” on the Left, regarding that poll!
Perhaps the real reason Obama won’t invite Bibi to the White House is to avoid offending the Muslim Brotherhood representative staying in the Lincoln Bedroom.
This whole ‘we’re going to do something snarky’ “O” response reeks of ‘fourth grade mean girls’ behavior. MAYBE our president should remember he is the head (not the leader) of the world’s most prominent nation !
This past week an Obama spokesperson reports Obama won’t meet with Netanyahu and Vice President Joe Biden won’t attend the congressional address scheduled for March 3rd. The Obama administration opined the visit is too close to Israeli elections and violates protocol of interfering in international elections.
Yet out the other side of their mouths, the Obama presidential election team has over the previous several months, set up camp in Tel Aviv with the mission to defeat Netanyahu in the upcoming election. The “Anyone but Bibi” mission is headed by Jeremy Bird, Obama’s National Field Director in Obama’s successful presidential campaigns. Bird heading a group called “Victory 15” has set up and recruited the young activists from Israel’s 2013 social protest movement and man a massive social network and personal contact campaign to defeat Bibi. V15 is financed by an NGO called “One Voice” whose motto is to be “the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians.” One Voice is funded by John Kerry’s State Department.
What part of this administration’s stance of “violation of protocol and interference in international elections” speaks louder of their actions than the words the hypocrites throw as bones to quiet the masses of the uninformed.
an NGO called “One Voice” whose motto is to be “the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians.”
Wait, mainstream what?
The “voice of mainstream Palestinians” is “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”. Hardly any peaceful intent there.
One Voice is funded by John Kerry’s State Department.
How much more blatant can these bastards get?
Petty tyrant. O won’t meet with Bibi because he has the social/intellectual skills of a 7 year old. He didn’t even attain the level of arrested adolescence.
Here is the poll question for that CNN poll:
Do you think Congressional leaders did the right thing or the wrong thing by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress without first notifying the president that they would do so?
As you can see, the question was not “whether voters support Netanyahu addressing Congress”.
It’s more a question of politeness! Of course, many would say, Congress should have at least notified the president, out of common courtesy if nothing else! It’s more a poll on the good manners of Congresscritters! It’s not 63% of Americans being upset with the idea of Netanyahu appearing before Congress at all… Just, hey… maybe it wasn’t nice to have invited him without telling the Prez!
When I read Mediate, HuffPo, Politico or other leftist blogs, I never take anything at face value and am always careful to check sources. If this blog is going to unquestioningly link and regurgitate Mediate and other left-blog talking points, I’ll have to start applying the same skepticism to anything I read here as well.
Once again, I find myself underwhelmed by our current administration’s maturity.