Obama, Netanyahu Meet, Avoid Talking About Palestinians

US Officials Claimed Behind the Scenes Concerns Were Raised

by Jason Ditz, September 21, 2016

On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, and following President Obama’s comments warning that Israel could not just keep occupying Palestinian territory forever, the president met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and by all accounts avoided all things Palestine.

Obama made one mention of being concerned about Israel’s massive settlement expansion, and that was basically the end of it, with Israeli officials referring to it as a “light-hearted” meeting at which the two got alone better than they’ve tended to throughout their respective administrations.

White House officials claimed Obama had raised other concerns behind closed doors, but didn’t want to make them publicly, while Israeli officials claimed Netanyahu had told Obama that the settlements were totally no big deal and that the Palestinians were the real problem.

Whatever happened behind the scenes, it was clear both sides were eager to put on a show of getting along really well in the wake of signing a record military aid deal last week, in which the US will be giving Israel $38 billion in arms over the next decade.

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