THIS TIME Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might have gone too far.
It’s bad enough that John Boehner invited him to address a joint session of Congress and lobby for more sanctions on Iran — and directly seek to undercut the president’s top diplomatic initiative. Far worse is that Netanyahu accepted the invitation; it was a demonstration of ingratitude and hubris rarely seen before in the annals of the US-Israel bilateral relationship.
In the process, Netanyahu has not simply blindsided the Obama administration, but, ironically, he may have directly undermined his own political fortunes.
This kind of behavior from Netanyahu is nothing new. Throughout Obama’s time in office, he has seemingly gone out of his way to stick his finger in the president’s eye.
It began with Israel’s refusal to abide by American demands for a settlement freeze, worsened in 2011 when Netanyahu delivered an infamous “history lesson” to Obama in the Oval Office in 2011 on the security challenges facing Israel. It hit a new low when he all but endorsed Obama’s 2012 GOP rival, Mitt Romney, and it hit rock bottom when he disparaged the 2013 nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran and tried to get Congress to kill it with new sanctions legislation. In between, Israeli officials have both publicly and privately disparaged the administration, particularly Secretary of State John Kerry.