The Obama-Netanyahu summit was expected to turn into a mutual charm offensive. And it didn't disappoint on that score. At the start of his remarks to the press, Obama gushed that he and Bibi had an "excellent discussion" and emphasized their "extraordinary friendship."
What was surprising were the sharp words Obama aimed at Mahmoud Abbas. Until now, Obama has been cautious to the point of reticence in taking Abbas to task -- mentioning only that the Palestinian leader had to do more to end anti-Israel incitement and to prevent terrorist attacks. But this time, Obama took the gloves off.
"It is very important that Palestinians not look for excuses for incitement, that they're not engaging in provocative language, that at the international level they are maintaining a constructive tone, as opposed to looking for opportunities to embarrass
That's not going to go down well in Ramallah and put a greater squeeze on Abbas to finally crack down on vile anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement in Palestinian media and mosques under his control. Obama's mention of Palestinian anti-Israel incitement on the international level was a direct rebuke to Abbas's failed campaign to prevent
As for his discussions with Bibi, Obama touched on the most serious recent disagreement between the two sides --
So, Obama felt it advisable that, in regard to this touchy issue, he now recognizes that
On other issues, Obama praised
As for his personal relations with Bibi, the president said he's convinced that Netanyahu is "prepared to take risks for peace" agrees with him that the two sides should move to direct negotiations, complimented Bibi on showing restraint on settlement construction, and told reporters that he has trusted Netanyahu since "I met him before I was elected president."
In turn, Netanyahu thanked Obama for going beyond a UN Security Council resolution in imposing more stringent sanctions on
The prime minister ended by inviting the president and First Lady to visit
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