May 31st, 2010
11:25 AM ET
5 years ago

Netanyahu cancels upcoming meeting with Obama

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled a visit with Barack Obama.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled a visit with Barack Obama.

(CNN) – (CNN) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled this week's scheduled meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, Israeli government officials said Monday. The two leaders were slated to meet Tuesday during a visit by Netanyahu to Washington.

Netanyahu also decided to cut short a visit to Canada and return to Israel, according to an e-mail statement from his media adviser.

Netanyahu's cancellation of the meeting came in the wake of international condemnation of Israel after Israeli soldiers stormed a flotilla of ships carrying aid intended for Palestinians in Gaza, leaving at least nine people dead in the resulting violence.

Israel claimed it was defending itself, with the Israel Defense Forces saying the soldiers' lives were in danger after they were attacked with "severe physical violence, including live fire, weapons, knives and clubs."

Several nations, however, have condemned the military action and called for an investigation.

Obama spoke on the phone with Netanyahu Monday morning, according to a statement from the White House press office. He "said he understood the prime minister's decision to return immediately to Israel to deal with today's events ... (and) agreed to reschedule their meeting at the first opportunity."

Obama "expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today's incident, and concern for the wounded," the statement noted. He "also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning's tragic events as soon as possible."

Netanyahu and Obama were set to discuss, among other things, the recently completed U.N. conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, according to an earlier statement from the Israeli government.

The final document released by participants in the month-long conference, which ended Friday, called for a 2012 conference of all Middle Eastern states to move forward on a 1995 proposal for a nuclear-free Mideast. The document also called on Israel to sign the treaty and place "all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] safeguards."

Israel is not a member of the NPT and has neither confirmed nor denied that it has a nuclear weapons stockpile.

The Israeli government said in a statement the conference's document is "deeply flawed and hypocritical" and said it "ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world." The statement also complained that Israel is singled out in the document and Iran, which is a signatory to the NPT, is not mentioned.

The United States signed onto the document, but Obama National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones said the U.S. government has "serious reservations."


Filed under: Benjamin Netanyahu • Israel • President Obama
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. JJ in NY

    Good move by Netanyahu ! Why should he waste time with a political hack like obama? It serves no purpose in protecting Israel or its people .

    May 31, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    The israeli's want our money and our back-up (with US lives) WHEN they start a war. They have always been agressive, and will continue for eternity.

    STOP THE MONEY – make them spend their own !

    May 31, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. People's Voice

    The arrogance of the Israelis is going to start WWIII. We, the idiots that we are, will fall right in line with them.

    Someone, somewhere needs to tell them, make them, start behaving like good citizens. Their hatred toward the Palestinians is murderous.

    They now have very little over the Nazi Party.

    May 31, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. sick&tired

    Israel is terrorist nation and the U.S. has got to realize that. They have killed many innocent poeple and have not been held accountable. Israel controls the U.S. government thru their political action committees. Politiians will not criticize Israel for fear of being attacked by the IPAC. Obama has been the only one to come close to standing up against them.

    May 31, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Jerry - Florida

    Natanhayu probably remembered the treatment by President NObama the last time he visited the USA. President NObama treats his dog with more respect than he did Natanhayu, a head of state and one of the USA's stanchest allies. Mr. Natanhayu does not need lecturing. It's President NObama that needs lecturing and more, possibly impeachment for all his lies.

    Israel does need to be condemned. Though it will! It is their supposedly supportive countries and hypocritical leaders (President NObama being one) that need to be condemned.

    May 31, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Israel's perennial attitude toward the US is "Screw you!"

    We really, really, need to quit wasting $3 billion every year on these thugs.

    May 31, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. Wayne

    Isreal is out if line, as usual. And all of you that are trying to defend them are revealing yourselves as the ignorant, pro-Isreali idealogues that you absolutely are. Wake up!

    May 31, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. Steve, New York City

    The Israeli actions are unbelievable and disgusting. While it would be a huge mistake to say that 100% of all Israelis supported the horrid massacre on a humanitarian flotilla, why must we accept that Israel is perpetually above criticism – knocking down Arab homes on disputed land to build exclusively-Jewish housing, bombing the USS Liberty – and Israel is possibly the only country in the world that could run over an unarmed, white American female with a bulldozer – and yet, no one says anything about it.

    It would be in the best interest of the United States to completely cut off aid to Israel. I support the right for Israel to exist and to live in peace – but let them face the consequences of killing peace activists and "ethnic cleansing" the Palestinians without US tax money!

    May 31, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. JonDie

    Once again Israel has thumbed its nose at the world and committed yet another war crime. Netanyahu is just another name for Ahmadinejad.

    May 31, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. Expat American

    joec May 31st, 2010 12:29 pm ET
    ...I dont blame you a bit for not wanting to visit with these Arab sympathizer's that are currently in the U.S. administration.
    ----------
    As opposed to the liars and mass murderers who vacated the White House in 2009?

    Would you allow an Arab-American doctor to save your life? A physician would be bound by his/her oath; which is unfortunate for the rest of us.

    The ignorance of Palin's 'Real Americans' is astounding.

    See above yet another graduate of 'Country First University'.
    In your one stoplight town, you’re a genius. To the outside world abroad, you’re just another dime-a-dozen ugly stupid American.

    May 31, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Expat American

    joec May 31st, 2010 12:29 pm ET
    ...I dont blame you a bit for not wanting to visit with these Arab sympathizer's that are currently in the U.S. administration.
    ----------
    As opposed to the liars and mass murderers who vacated the White House in 2009?

    Would you allow an Arab-American doctor to save your life? A physician would be bound by his/her oath; which is unfortunate for the rest of us.

    The ignorance of Palin's 'Real Americans' is astounding.

    See above yet another graduate of 'Country First University'.

    In your one stoplight town, you’re a genius. But to the outside world abroad, you’re just an ugly stupid American.

    May 31, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Marlene

    This is shocking! Israel should be shamed by world governments. Israel, by it's actions, wants to go it alone is diplomacy with the world. Well good, let them!

    May 31, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. jenn,philadelphia

    The United Nations and the European Union have no moral authority to criticize Israel. Israel exists because of Europe's guilt for having done nothing during World War II while Hitler killed millions of Jews, and it was their way of getting the Jews out of Europe. The history of anti-semitism of Europe makes me not listen to a single thing they have to say. Meanwhile, Palestinians blow themselves and as many innocent people as they can up, and the UN and EU remain silent.

    May 31, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. jack

    How long shall the mongrel nation torment the innocents? How much blood does it take to quench Zions blood-thirst?

    May 31, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. Jay

    Israel = South Africa under Apartheid

    May 31, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. JonDie

    A genocidal murderer named Ben san roda wrote:
    "Israel has the right to protect itself from all kinds of assaults."

    You and Adolf Hitler always have excuses for your crimes.

    May 31, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Steve

    Hamas lobs rockets into Israel and noone condemns this agression.
    Israel is in a struggle for its very survival and must be supported by all freedom- and peace-loving nations. This struggle inevitably results in Israeli actions that may be unpopular, but necessary. We, in the U.S., would do the same if we were surrounded by hostile nations that were dedicated to our destruction. It is time to stop bloviating and to recognize the facts.

    May 31, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. andrew

    the "aid workers" were not aid workers they were dumb people who were trying to help terrorists who would jump at the chance to kill them and their families with no rime or reason the israelis did whatever they could to limit violence but thease hipocritical peace activist decided to attack throwing soldiers down the stairs etc they are the ones who should be condemmed

    May 31, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. carlos

    joynnbob.........your IQ below plant level is showing up every day while we attempt to post intelligent dialogue.........as for those israeli criminals, they could care less about world condemnation, freaking arrong thugs and those defending them here are just as complicit

    May 31, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. Dawn

    Many questions here. So-called aid workers taking the press on-board? Trying to run a blockade? Are these people really stupid or was this a photo-op? What exactly were these ships carrying? How far were these ships from the actual blockade area? How did they plan to go through the blockade? The Israelis don't fool around with their security, everyone knows that. Wish we did the same.

    May 31, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. carlos

    stay in your country.....we donot need you here in this great and beautiful land of ours, and please do not use that excuse that you have to defend yourselves.....all you want to do is kill innocent people.......u r trash

    May 31, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  22. debra

    This has NOTHING to do with the US...we need to stay out of it....but there should be an independent investigation if a neutral country can be found....

    May 31, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. Nathan

    Netanyahu is another OSAMA BIN LADEN

    May 31, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. phoenix86

    Finally, Israel is now opening calling the Obama administration's policy of appeasement what it really is...a policy to ensure failure.

    Israel has every right to defend itself against the terrorists who are trying to murder Israeli citizens.

    WAY TO GO ISRAEL.

    May 31, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. haren

    As long as Israel behave this way we have to take off our shoes at the airport.
    We are the one who suffer from supporting Israel.

    May 31, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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