Heraklion, Crete — On this solemn day, doubly solemn as a proud if adoptive New Yorker, I am also proud that Israeli media were the first, apparently, to report that President Obama “won’t have time” to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the U.S. later this month…

…when the latter is scheduled to be on hand to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Interestingly and appallingly, a White House spokesman said (as quoted in The New York Times), “They’re simply not in the city at the same time.”

Well, Mr. Vietor (the spokesman), I’ve got news for you: even on crappy Amtrak, you can get from that swamp they like to call D.C. to the East Side of Manhattan in about three hours.

This kind of Executive Branch shilly-shallying is so unbecoming of America it makes me want to hide my American passport in the bat cave where Zeus was born on this glorious and delicate Greek island. But I can’t — my grandfather fought as an American on D-Day. My other grandfather fought as an American in Tunisia and Italy.

So I’ll keep my passport prominently displayed, thank you very much, even though like much of the world I’m aghast at what passes for American statesmanship at the moment.

I never did like Chicago and its dark legacy of cronyism, but there’s even less to like about the District of Columbia. The climate is abysmal. The political climate is worse. Pierre L’Enfant, like most things and personages French, overrated. Washingtonians, by and large bureaucratic not just in occupation, but in spirit. Bleak, culturally limp, fantastically flat, deliriously drab and devoid of ideas.

My guess is that Obama would rather do drunk brunch with Ahmadinejad than working lunch with any Israeli. Totally pathetic. That the news of the White House snub would break on September 11 makes it doubly pathetic.

All this and more conspires to lend credence to the claim that the de facto capital of the United States is New York City.

The United Nations complex in New York enjoys special status under international law, but that’s no excuse for tyrants to hijack it for their own nefarious propaganda purposes. The UN sits on the good hard soil of the Empire State. The pure water of the great state of New York fills its toilets. So why should New York City permit entry to the (understatement alert) odious president of the former Persia? Unless the itinerary includes Rikers Island, it should not.

New York has always been where it’s at, and Mayor Bloomberg could and should be the first public official to start squawking about letting a dangerous racist nutcase and his security detail tie up traffic in Midtown Manhattan. He can deny this offense to taxpayers before it becomes one.

Why indeed let Mahmoud spoil the mood with another rant at the U.N.? It was never necessary before, and is even less so now. Who cares about Washington anyway? It’s up to you, New York.