MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell admitted last night that President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have one of the worst relationships she's seen throughout her long career of covering the presidency.
Louise just mentioned that terrible visit two years ago when the Prime Minister in the Oval Office scolded the President to his face. And you saw the expressions. They were really, the White House was really offended by that. It’s taken a lot to repair it, and similarly, the Israelis felt that the position that Barack Obama took when he first took office against Jewish settlements were a real obstacle, and then of course the President backed down, and that was an awkward moment for the Palestinians leaving them in the lurch.
So nobody, none of the independent critics would say that the White House has not bungled this relationship, but a lot of people put blame on the Israeli side as well. It's gotten off on the wrong foot and they’re trying to fix it, but it is one of the worst relationships I can remember, and I’ve covered every president going all the way back to Ronald Reagan. These, these leaders do not get along. They are not simpatico.
Considering this is Obama's first trip to Israel as president after often taking the side of the Palestinians during his first term, that the DNC took Israel out of its platform and booed loudly when it was place back in and that Obama called on Israel to go back to its 1967 borders in 2011, yeah, that sounds about right. It's also no surprise Obama was "offended" that Netanyahu would rightly call him out in the Oval Office in front of TV cameras for asking the Jewish people to go back to borders that are indefensible.
During a joint press conference yesterday Netanyahu said, "Israel cannot cede right to defend itself, even to its greatest friend."
Both Obama and Netanyahu are trying their best to reassure Americans and Israelis that the relationship and alliance between the two countries are strong, but the elephant is in the room.