Obama, Netanyahu Relations Just Got Frostier
President won't meet with him, as Israeli leader slams Iran policy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2012 5:15 PM CDT
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem Sept 2.   (AP Photo/Baz Ratner, Pool)

(Newser) – President Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu's relations have never been described as warm, and two developments today show they're not getting warmer:

  • No meeting: Obama has turned down a request to meet with Netanyahu when he comes to the US later this month to address the UN. The White House says it just can't squeeze him in, which will mark the first time the prime minister has been shut out on a US trip, reports the Jerusalem Post.

  • Fightin' words: In what the Washington Post describes as a "blistering" criticism, Netanyahu blasted the US and the West for being soft on Iran in regard to its nuclear program. "Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel." He was taking at dig at Hillary Clinton's comments over the weekend that "red lines" and "deadlines" weren't useful.
  • Election at play? The New York Times says Netanyahu "appeared to be making maximum use of his political leverage at a time when Mr. Obama’s Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, has sought to make an issue of what he says is the administration’s lack of support for Israel."