(JNS.org) President Barack Obama reportedly said he will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until after the June 30 deadline for a final nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
Citing anonymous sources familiar with a meeting between Obama and Jewish leaders at the White House last week, the New York Times reported Wednesday that Obama “told the group that a face-to-face meeting at the White House would probably end with Mr. Netanyahu publicly venting his complaints about the president’s policies, particularly his efforts to forge a nuclear agreement with Iran.”
Therefore, Obama reportedly said he would limit his current conversations with Netanyahu to the telephone and hold off on inviting the prime minister to the White House until after June 30.
Obama had also refused to meet Netanyahu when the latter visited Washington, DC, in March to speak before Congress and the American Israel Public Affairs Affairs Committee conference, citing the close proximity of Netanyahu’s visit to that month’s Israeli election. After Netanyahu won the election, Obama and other officials in his administration issued sharp criticisms of the prime minister’s pre-election comments about a Palestinian state and Israeli Arab voters.
Meanwhile, U.S.-Israel disagreements over the Iranian nuclear issue have persisted following the recently reached framework deal with Iran. In addition to Netanyahu, leaders from across the Israeli political spectrum have expressed concern about the agreement.