Baffled Bibi: Once Again

Binyamin Netanyahu will certainly be entered in the Guinness World Book of Records as the first foreign leader in history who rejected an invitation to meet with an American president formally in the White House.

This is something that is simply never done. It is considered rude behavior to turn down a presidential invitation. But Bibi did just that.

Additionally, he announced his decision to the Israeli media prior to informing the White House.

If there were ever disagreements and discord between Israel’s Bibi and America’s Barack, this recent act of Bibi tops them all and has angered not only the White House but more important, the American public, who rejects what they consider an Israeli insult to their lame-duck president.

One of the main purposes of the invitation was to discuss American military aid to Israel over a period of the next ten years. Israel was offered three billion dollars in aid. But this was insufficient for Bibi.

Like a schnorrer with hat in hand, he was demanding five billion dollars. It is now highly improbable that his request will be granted. Especially not in the face of the most recent insult to President Obama.

So Bibi decides to wait until the election of a new American president. Good luck to him. If Donald Trump is elected, Israel will be lucky to get even the three billion originally offered. And if Hillary Clinton is elected, it’s anyone’s guess, although she has been friendly to Israel.

Therefore, Bibi is baffled. He doesn’t know what he should do. Of course, Sara can always tell him what she thinks he should do. She’s been telling him ever since he was first elected.

This refusal to meet was a major mistake on our Prime Minister’s part. He used a poor explanation for his decision not to come to Washington.

He did not want to be photographed with candidates for the American presidential elections lest his appearance might give the impression of his favoritism to one or another of the candidates.

It did not seem to be a problem some years ago when Bibi publicly supported the candidacy of the Republican Mitt Romney.

And it is no secret to Israelis that Bibi gives nod to the Republican party. He seems to have had enough of the Democrats for the time being.

I doubt that baffled Bibi and Barack Obama will ever formally meet again during the final months of Obama’s time in the Oval Office.

But somehow a wizard will appear on the scene and show Bibi the correct way to amend his negative errors. Let no Israeli forget that in spite of everything, America has been and is Israel’s best bet for security.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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