Here I was thinking I had missed the readout of yesterday’s White House meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when Politico reports that the meeting has emerged to “deafening silence“:
The Obama administration shifted this week from red hot anger at Benjamin Netanyahu to an icier suspicion toward the Israeli Prime Minister, who made clear in a marathon of meetings with U.S. officials that he would give ground only grudgingly on their goal of stopping the continued construction of new Israeli housing units on disputed territory.
Netanyahu met with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office Tuesday evening for an unexpectedly-long 89-minutes until about 7:00, then stayed to consult with his own staff in the Roosevelt Room, according to a source briefed on the meeting. The two then met again for 35 minutes at 8:20 at Netanyahu’s request, the source said. But the meetings were shrouded in unusual secrecy, in part because U.S. officials, who just ten days earlier called the surprise announcement of new housing in East Jerusalem an “insult” and an “affront,” made sure to reward Netanyahu with a series of small snubs: There were no photographs released from the meeting, and no briefing for the press.
Just before the meeting, a Jerusalem council announced another new settlement past the portion of the city that the international community accepts as Israeli territory.
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