So Amb. Michael Oren, Israel’s eloquent ambassador in Washington, says it didn’t happen; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasn’t dissed when he came to the White House on March 23, according to this JTA story and numerous other reports.
And a lot of you don’t believe it, judging by the comments, calls and emails.
“An obvious lie,” an angry caller told me. “Didn’t you know the President wouldn’t even give him a cup of tea when he asked for one?”
Others repeated claims Bibi was kept cooling his heels while Obama went off to have dinner with his family, and never mind that the family wasn’t even there.
Naturally, the fact Oren rejected these reports seems to confirm them in the minds of some.
And how do they know?
They read it in blogs that depict Obama as a secret Muslim, a Jew hater and a president determined to win favor with the Muslim world by selling Israel down the river, that’s how.
They read about it in breathless emails sent around the world like chain letters promising prosperity if recipients forward them to ten friends, doom if they don’t.
Most of the emails I received referred to Obama with his middle name, as if “Hussein” was proof enough that the allegations were true.
Many began with something like “My husband and I just heard this very disturbing information, and we thought we should pass it on to you…” – the classic opening for Internet urban legends.
With the U.S.-Israel strategic alliance as strong as ever and with leaders in both countries trying hard to work out ways of cooperating even though Netanyahu and Obama have different visions of the best route to peace, why is a small but incredibly vocal minority of Jews determined to prove that Obama hates us and hates the Jewish state? Is their agenda to improve U.S.- Israel ties, or only to boost a particular vision of Israel’s future – a vision not shared by a strong majority of American Jews?