Washington, D.C. Eager to show unity to the world, President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday dismissed talk of a rift as wildly unfounded, and Netanyahu pledged concrete, “very robust” steps to revive sluggish Mideast peace efforts with the Palestinians.
In a warm, yet carefully choreographed, White House embrace, the two leaders took pains to persuade allies and enemies alike that a deeply important relationship is doing just fine.
The two nations clearly felt that was necessary. The meeting came five weeks after Israel’s deadly raid on a flotilla that was trying to break the Israeli blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. That raid brought international outrage and tested U.S. support for Israel’s security steps.
But the optics and words of Tuesday’s visit all sent one message: unshaken cooperation.