Jackson Diehl makes the argument ... once again. Does the president understand this? I’m not sure he does. But I expect that Bibi made the point very clear.
Binyamin Netanyahu doesn’t have any illusions about Barack Obama’s regard for him, despite their friendly meeting at the White House on Tuesday. But Netanyahu does apparently believe that if he presents this most cerebral of U.S. presidents with a well-reasoned position, he’ll be listened to. Hence his behavior -- and the relative warming of U.S.-Israeli relations -- in recent weeks.
Take Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. For some time, according to people close to him, Netanyahu regarded the policy as counterproductive. Following the confrontation with a Turkish-led flotilla that left nine dead, the blockade became indefensible. Netanyahu couldn’t make a rational argument to the White House that Israel needed to deprive the 1.5 million Palestinians of Gaza of cilantro, ketchup and other basic goods. He could easily explain why it must continue to prevent the smuggling of Iranian missiles and other arms to Hamas.
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