Call Me Bibi
President Barack Obama took some heat for not scheduling a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while the latter leader was in the United States for the U.N. General Assembly this week. The president (sort of) addressed that criticism today by making time to meet Mr. Netanyahu (via telephone). According to a “readout” of the conversation distributed by the White House Press Office, “the two leaders discussed a range of security issues, and the President reaffirmed his and our country’s unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.”
“The two leaders underscored that they are in full agreement on the shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The Prime Minister welcomed President Obama’s commitment before the United Nations General Assembly to do what we must to achieve that goal,” the readout said.
Bibi In The City
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined forces this afternoon on the steps of Gracie Mansion where they discussed something Israel and New York have in common–a high risk of terrorism.
“Like Israel, New York City has remained a target for terrorists who seek to destroy them,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the people of Israel stood with us in solidarity knowing that terrorists are only victorious if they frighten people to give up their beliefs, their values, their way of life. That will never happen with Israel and and it will never happen in the United States.”
Although President Barack Obama has been taking heat over the past few weeks for his apparent lack of interest in meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during this week’s U.N. General Assembly in New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg clearly isn’t in the same boat.
Mr. Bloomberg is hosting a meeting with the Israeli leader at the mayoral residence, Gracie Mansion, at 3 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, according to his schedule that was released earlier this evening. Their meeting, which will be open to the press and broadcast on the city government’s website, tops off a busy day for Mr. Bloomberg where he’s set to make multiple speeches and meet with the Prime Minister of Thailand as well.
on the borderline
Air Force One had a close encounter of the Ahmadinejad kind on the way to a campaign event in Ohio this afternoon. According to the press pool report, President Barack Obama’s plane passed by the jet being used by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Andrews Air Force base in Maryland.
“As Air Force One taxied down the runway at Andrews, plane passed Iran Air, which is parked at the air base, presumably waiting there before spiriting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad home. The Iranian plane is a handsome-looking white 747,” wrote pool reporter Helene Cooper of The New York Times.
With photos like these, you don’t really need to read much about President Obama’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office today.
The sour looks weren’t exactly unexpected, after Obama suggested yesterday that a two-state solution roughly conform to the pre-1967 borders.