Oh, this is rich (via Politico, which dutifully conveys the Obami’s spin):
If U.S. officials were bothered by the latest turn in their constantly evolving relations with Benjamin Netanyahu — the Israeli prime minister’s abrupt decision to cancel a planned trip to Washington this week for a nuclear summit meeting — they did their best to disguise it.
Bothered by the “latest turn”? It is as if they were bystanders rather than those steering the car that went off the road and into a ditch. We are led to believe that after weeks of Bibi-bashing and leaks of a potential imposed peace plan, what the Obami really seek is a “pragmatic Bibi.” Graph after graph passes in this otherworldly discussion of the state of U.S.-Israeli relations until Elliott Abrams supplies some much needed reality:
Only a president who appears friendly and concerned about Israeli security can evoke pragmatism in any Israeli politician,” Abrams said. “But Netanyahu has not seen the ‘pragmatic Obama,’ only the ‘ideological Obama.’ The Administration has taken a hostile stance toward Netanyahu not since he took office — but even before he took office; and it has pressed policies that show a deep lack of understanding of Israeli politics.
Indeed, it was Bibi who agreed to yet another West Bank building freeze. It was Bibi who agreed to proximity talks. Only if one defines “pragmatic” as capitulation to Obama’s hard-ball tactics could one see Bibi in all this as inflexible.
And then we are back to the spin. A former Clinton official is trotted out to declare that “The ultimate catalyst in all this is going to be Iran. . . . This is the one issue, where the interests of the U.S. and of Israel are very closely aligned and in which both countries have to work together.” Well, that’s increasingly dubious these days. Obama is in his give-it-the-college-try-but-no-promises mode; Bibi has made it very clear that a nuclear armed Iran isn’t going to be permitted on his watch. James Jones can pronounce that the two countries’ interests on Iran ”are very closely linked,” but it is becoming apparent — because Obama is making it so — that the U.S. and Israel don’t see eye to eye on the end game.
The Obami’s spin is revealing, confirming that no reason exists to alter the course. The problem is Bibi, you see. If not for a prime minister who refused to depart from 40 years of government policy on Jerusalem, who objected to an endless stream of unilateral concessions, and who wouldn’t pipe down about a military option, everything would be swell.