Monday, March 3, 2014

Bibi Obama Meet Today

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

In the Oval Office today President Barack Obama will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Both leaders have made opening moves before the meeting. On Thursday Obama sat down for an interview with Jeffery Goldberg that was posted on Sunday, on Bloomberg. Before boarding his plane to the US, Netanyahu issued a statement from his office.

There was a clear objective in both messages - announcing the direction they each wanted the meeting to take. As is often the case, there was nothing new or surprising in either message, nothing the other leader is not already aware of.

In essence, both Israel and the United States are on the same side conceptually, it is the practical side, the nuts and bolts, that puts them at odds with each other. Actually, it is all about time and timing.

Obama believes that there is no real time left for continued discussion of the Palestinian issue. He believes that if a resolution is not arrived at now, the United States will not be able to successfully support Israel in the international arena. And on the Iranian issue, on the other hand, Obama thinks there is plenty of time left to let Iran come around.

Netanyahu thinks exactly the opposite. He believes that there is plenty of time on the Palestinian issue but on the Iranian issue, there is no time left at all.

It is past the point where Obama and Netanyahu can agree to disagree. Sparks will be flying out of the Oval Office. 

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