Obama invites Netanyahu to White House
President Barack Obama has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House next week, Israeli government sources said yesterday, for an apparent fence-mending visit.
Israeli commentators portrayed the surprise talks as an attempt by Obama to counter criticism by US Jewish leaders and in Congress over what was widely seen as his cold shoulder toward Netanyahu after a public dispute over settlement policy.
Obama will host Netanyahu on Tuesday and a formal announcement was likely later in the day after White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, on a visit to Israel for his teenage son's Bar Mitzvah, a Jewish coming-of-age ceremony, meets the prime minister, the sources said.
The trip to Washington was tagged on to a visit by Netanyahu, beginning on Thursday, to France, where he will attend a ceremony welcoming Israel to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and to Canada.