Obama’s Message to Netanyahu


From President Barack Obama’s March 24 press conference:

Question: Mr. President, you came to office pledging to work for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. How realistic do you think those hopes are now, given the likelihood of a prime minister [Benyamin Netanyahu] who is not fully signed up to a two-state solution and a foreign minister who has been accused of insulting Arabs?

Obama: It’s not easier than it was, but I think it’s just as necessary.

A statement put out by the White House on April 1:

The President spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu today. The President congratulated the Prime Minister after his swearing-in yesterday, and reaffirmed the United States’ steadfast commitment to Israel and its security. The President said he looked forward to working closely with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government to address issues of mutual concern, including Iran and Arab-Israeli peace.

A slight change in tone, isn’t it? But that’s to be expected. Official pronouncments often do not match less-guarded statements. But I wonder if two discussed Obama’s press conference comment–and whether Obama sent Netanyahu a message any more pointed than the congrats described above.

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  • David Corn

    David Corn is Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief and an on-air analyst for MSNBC. He is the co-author (with Michael Isikoff) of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. He is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, Showdown, Hubris (with Isikoff), and The Lies of George W. Bush, as well as the e-book, 47 Percent: Uncovering the Romney Video that Rocked the 2012 Election. For more of his stories, click here. He's also on Twitter and Facebook.