Report: White House official says Bibi ‘spat in our face . . . there will be a price’

President Barack Obama is reportedly incensed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for accepting an invitation to address a joint session of Congress in March without a White House clearance.

A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Haaretz, Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, that the Israeli leader had “spat” in the face of the Obama administration, and that “there will be a price” to pay at some point down the road.

Netanyahu is scheduled to speak before Congress on March 3 on Islamic terrorism at a time when the lawmakers will consider imposing new sanctions against Iran. Obama has repeatedly emphasized that he is opposed to sanctions. Most members of Congress, including senior Democrats, favor them.

Obama has indicated that he intends to veto any sanction legislation.

“The president has been clear about his opposition to Congress passing new legislation on Iran that could undermine our negotiations and divide the international community,” National Security Council Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan told Haaretz in what was apparently a message to Netanyahu ahead of his visit. “The President has had many conversations with the prime minister on this matter, and I am sure they will continue to be in contact on this and other important matters.”

The paper reported:

Nevertheless, hiding behind this diplomatic language was enormous anger on the part of the White House over the fact that Netanyahu has been working behind the U.S. administration’s back regarding the Congress address, which led to the decision to completely ostracize the PM during his visit.

“We thought we’ve seen everything,” a senior American official told Haaretz. “But Bibi managed to surprise even us. There are things you simply don’t do. He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.”

Twitter responded as one might expect:

I get the impression that Netanyahu isn’t sweating it too much.


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