Heads up, Benjamin Netanyahu will be on Meet the Press tomorrow. I expect David Gregory to be adversarial, reflecting the new conventional wisdom– that Netanyahu is messing in our election process and dragging us into war. He will quote Barbara Boxer-- “deep disappointment” — and Joe Klein (see below) and David Remnick.
But of course Obama doesn’t have time for Netanyahu. And my headline is likely to be a rallying cry during the UN meetings in late September when Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting. From the Zionist Organization of America:
U.S. and Israeli officials confirmed yesterday that President Obama would not meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu during the latter’s U.S. visit. According to reports, the reason given for the non-meeting is that President Obama “will likely be on the campaign trail at that time.
However, on the same day, the White House also announced that the President will go to New York to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman” (‘Obama makes time for Letterman, but not Israeli PM Netanyahu,’ Washington Examiner, September 12, 2012). Surely it is more important that the U.S. President meet with the Israeli Prime Minister to discuss critical issues relating to Iran and the Middle East than to appear on the David Letterman show?
Joe Klein is very good on Netanyahu’s interference. He’s talking about the Israel lobby, of course, and utterly rejecting the dual loyalty charge by thumping about patriotic Americans.
The truth is, Iran is a political issue more than a national security challenge. It has achieved the prominence in the current debate that it was because Bibi Netanyahu and his neoconservative pals have made it an issue, because twisted American zillionaires like Sheldon Adelson have bought politicians to promote it, because Jewish organizations like AIPAC and the ADL and the AJC have conflated Israel’s national security with our own–and their perceptions of Israel’s long-term national security are, I believe, grievously flawed.
But think about it: What if David Cameron was pushing us to go to war with Argentina over the Falklands? What if India was interfering with the American presidential campaign in order to promote an attack on Pakistan? When was the last time a foreign leader tried to influence an American political campaign? ….
Netanyahu is doing two things that should be intolerable for any patriotic American: he is a foreigner trying to influence our presidential campaign and he is a foreigner trying to shove us into a war of choice in a region where far too many Americans have already died needlessly. The Romney campaign–as well as AIPAC, the AJC and every other American Jewish organization–should make it clear to Netanyahu that his interventions into our political process and policy-making are not welcome here.