Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu don’t like each other.
That much is clear.
But they’re really going to have to put aside personal grudges — and fast — because the world is getting scarier by the day.
Obama’s refusal to agree to a meeting with the Israeli prime minister when he is in the United States this month was a lousy idea. Americans aren’t the only ones who noticed it. Israel’s enemies surely did, too, just as they noted, I’m sure, that the president will be meeting with Egyptian president and former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi next week in New York.
Egypt is an ally — at least it was — and the president’s meeting with Morsi is important and appropriate. But not meeting with Netanyahu, with all that’s going on in the Middle East, is madness. Any perceived daylight between the United States and Israel is a dangerous thing for the Jewish State. The president’s refusal to meet is virtually a straight-arm to Israel on the world stage.
It doesn’t seem like the Obama administration is going to easily relent, so here are five practical ideas for getting a meeting with the U.S. president that Bibi might consider:
1. Dinner with Barack
By logging onto BarackObama.com and clicking on “Dinner with Barack,” Netanyahu can enter his name to try to win “the following prize package: round-trip tickets for winner and a guest from within the fifty U.S. States, DC, or Puerto Rico to a destination to be determined by the Sponsor; hotel accommodations for winner and a guest; and dinner for winner and a guest with President Obamaon a date to be determined by the Sponsor (approximate retail value of all prizes $4,800). Odds of winning depend on number of entries received.”
The “Dinner with Barack” promotion is open only to U.S. citizens, but I’m sure they’d take theHarvard- and MIT-educated Netanyahu. But just in case, I entered, too, and I will gladly bring Netanyahu as my guest.
2. Open a Hot New Nightclub In New York
The president can’t seem to resist hot clubs and celebrities. He partied this week at Jay-Z andBeyonce‘s 40/40 club, where guests shelled out $40,000 to attend. Maybe jazz up the Israeli mission for a little shindig after the UN meetings. Invite Bar Refaeli. Definitely.
3. Tell him you’re bringing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In 2008 he said he would meet with him.
The rest of this column is available at Newsday and Newsday Westchester. Thanks for reading.