As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads to the White House to meet with President Obama, the Israeli press is latching on to the second paragraph of a New York Times report today: the revelation that Obama has informed "aides and allies" that he doesn't think Netanyahu will ever be willing to make the kind of big concessions that will lead to a peace deal." Many of the countries major news outlets--including Haaretz, Walla!, Ynet (affiliated with Yedioth Ahronoth), The Jerusalem Post, and Maariv--are highlighting the passage. How are they interpreting Obama's loss of confidence in their prime minister?
Haaretz contextualizes the comments in a larger "war of words between Israel and the U.S." following Obama's endorsement of a Palestinian state along 1967 borders in his Mideast speech yesterday. Netanyahu quickly rejected any Israeli withdrawal to those "indefensible" borders, the paper adds, and the quote from Obama's aides in the Times appears to be a "response to Netanyahu's comments." Ynet, meanwhile, reports the news with the headline "Behind the Scenes: Obama Snubs Netanyahu" and reflects that the "cold relationship" between Obama and Netanyahu "seems to have noted a new drop in temperature," adding, in a bit of a mixed metaphor, that tensions between the two countries are at an "all-time high."
The articles are attracting lots of comments. At Ynet, one commenter recommends that Netanyahu cancel his meeting with Obama: "Just as Obama did not feel the need to update Bibi before his speech, so should Bibi go straight to Congress without updating Obama." Another commenter, however, suggests just the opposite, arguing that Netanyahu shouldn't push America's patience: "Frustrating as it is, Israel needs the US more than the other way around. I fear that creating a row with president Obama would be counter-productive to Israel's needs."