[Ed. – Kerry won’t meet with Bibi either. Meanwhile, Obama administration getting talking points from high school current-events debates: priceless. (See added emphasis.)]
On Thursday, the White House said President Barack Obama would not meet the prime minister when he comes to the U.S. to address a joint session of Congress. The official White House explanation was that Netanyahu’s visit fell too close to the Israeli election and the Obama administration wanted to avoid the appearance of taking sides. …
But the timing of Netanyahu’s visit also gave the White House a convenient means of retaliating against the prime minister for his decision to accept an invitation from Republican leaders to address Congress. GOP lawmakers and Netanyahu worked out the arrangement without consulting with the White House or State Department, only alerting the Obama administration a few hours before the Israeli leader’s trip was made public.
The White House appeared stunned by what it saw as a breach of diplomatic decorum by Netanyahu, a leader with whom Obama has a history of tension.
“The typical protocol would suggest that the leader of a country would contact the leader of another country when he’s traveling there,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “That certainly is how President Obama’s trips are planned when we travel overseas. So this particular event seems to be a departure from that protocol.”