The White House declined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's request on Tuesday to meet U.S. President Barack Obama during a UN conference in New York at the end of the month.
An official in Jerusalem said that the prime minister's office sent the White House a message stating that although Netanyahu will spend only two and a half days on U.S. soil, he is interested in meeting Obama and is willing to travel to the U.S. capital specifically for that purpose. The official added that the White House rejected the request and said that at this time Obama's schedule does not allow for a meeting.
The White House's response marks a new low in relations between Netanyahu and Obama, underscored by the fact that this is the first time Netanyahu will visit the U.S. as prime minister without meeting the president.
This comes right after Clinton denied Israel's request for "red lines" around the Iranian nuclear program, that if crossed, would trigger US action:
"We're not setting deadlines... we're convinced that we have more time to focus on these sanctions, to do everything we can to bring Iran to a good-faith negotiation."
Luckily for Israel, they have a leader that will not back down, that will refuse to be the victim of appeasement like Czechoslovakia was in 1938. Here are some great comments he made in Bulgaria:
"The world tells Israel to wait because there is still time. And I ask: Wait for what? Until when? Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel. If Iran knows that there is no red line or deadline, what will it do? Exactly what it is doing today, i.e., continuing to work unhindered toward achieving a nuclear weapon."
"As of now, we can clearly say that diplomacy and sanctions have not worked. They have hit the Iranian economy but they haven't stopped the Iranian nuclear project. This is a fact. Another fact is that every day Iran gets closer to a nuclear bomb."
Earlier on Tuesday, Deputy Knesset Speaker and Likud MK Danny Danon openly attacked Clinton for her refusal to set a deadline for military action to thwart Iran. Her statement "is a slap in the face [for Israel], the United States' closest ally in the Middle East," he said. "Instead of [the US] standing steadfastly at our side, the secretary's comments only serve to embolden the Iranians and likely hasten their weapons program. We expect more from our American friends, who have pledged close cooperation in combating this radical threat to the free world."