In the late 1960s, the actor Tony Randall visited Dartmouth. Randall was a strident critic of the war in Vietnam and rather full of himself about the subject. He proudly told us that some major public figure had attacked the tone of his criticism of President Johnson by saying, “Randall may be able to talk that way to Rock Hudson, but he can’t talk that way about the President of the United States.” Randall’s response was, “I would never talk to Rock that way.”
Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu visited the White House. The details of the meeting have been slow to come out, but we are now learning what transpired. The Telegraph reports that Obama opened the meeting by presenting a list of 13 demands to Netanyahu. One was a complete freeze on Jewish building in eastern Jerusalem.
When Netanyahu did not immediately agree to the demands, Obama went to eat dinner. In one account he told Netanyahu to consider “the error of his ways.” In another he said, “I’m still around. Let me know if there is anything new.”
Obama reportedly returned after an hour to repeat his demands. Because Netanyahu still did not agree, there was no joint statement or normal press coverage.
One Israeli newspaper summarized the encounter this way:
There is no humiliation exercise that the Americans did not try on the prime minister and his entourage. Bibi received in the White House the treatment reserved for the president of Equatorial Guinea.
But Obama would never treat the president of Equatorial Guinea that way.
Via Jonathan Tobin.
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