President Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu tried to project an image of unity today as the president welcomed his Israeli counterpart to the Oval Office. Speaking to reporters before their closed-door meeting, Obama said, "The United States will always have Israel's back," echoing his AIPAC speech. Netanyahu, meanwhile, thanked the president for recognizing that "Israel has the sovereign right to make its own decisions." According to the New York Times, Israeli officials interpreted Obama's remarks to mean that the US won't block an Israeli preemptive strike.
But the differences between the two leaders' take on Iran was evident. Obama did reiterate that "all options are on the table" to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, but he didn't explicitly mention military force. Netanyahu, by contrast, never mentioned diplomacy or sanctions. Instead, he focused on affirming US-Israeli kinship. Iran's leaders, he said, refer to the US as "Great Satan" and Israel as "Little Satan." "We are you, and you are us," he concluded. "We are together." (Read more Barack Obama stories.)