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Yes, it’s true.

backbonePrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be heading to Washington next week for the nuclear summit organized by US President Barack Obama.

The PM made the decision Thursday after finding out that several Muslim states intend to bring up Israel’s failure to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Earlier, the PM’s Office issued an official statement announcing the trip.

“In the last 24 hours we received reports about the intention of various states that will be present at the Washington conference to go beyond the issue of preventing nuclear terror,” a senior source in Jerusalem said. “These states intend to exploit the occasion in order to slam Israel. The prime minister expressed his displeasure over these intentions, and he will therefore not be traveling to the summit.”

“Israel is usually represented by ministers or specialists at international conferences dealing with this subject,” the source added.

Minister for Intelligence Affairs Dan Meridor will be representing Israel at the conference instead of Netanyahu along with an expert team.

No plans for Bibi-Obama meeting

Officials in Jerusalem are concerned that Arab states and their supporters would seek to exert pressure on Israel over its reported nuclear capabilities. In addition, Netanyahu had not yet responded to demands made by President Obama in respect to efforts to renew the talks with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu was not scheduled to meet with President Obama during the summit; only nine world leaders of the roughly 46 in attendance are expected to meet with the president.

According to the information received by Jerusalem, eight or nine Muslim countries intend to bring up the issue at the conference. Some of the information is premised on unequivocal remarks by summit organizers.

The information prompted PM Netanyahu to reconsider his attendance at the summit, as he does not wish to make Israel the focus of public criticism over its failure to sign the NPT.

Hours after the announcement was made, The White House said Israel had informed it of the decision. White House National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said the Israeli government “has informed us” of the decision to send Meridor instead of Netanyahu to the nuclear security summit.

“We welcome Deputy Prime Minister Meridor’s participation in the conference. Israel is a close ally and we look forward to continuing to work closely on issues related to nuclear security,” Hammer said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, it is the countries with which Israel actually has diplomatic relations – Egypt and Turkey – who have been spearheading the effort to turn the conference into an anti-Israel opportunity.

But others claim that this is not the real explanation for Netanyahu’s trip cancellation:

However, some analysts were skeptical about the official Israeli explanation since the potential for Israel to face such questions about its nuclear program has been widely known and openly discussed since Obama announced plans for the summit early last year.

Netanyahu’s about-face came as the New York Times and Washington Post published accounts suggesting that Obama was considering presenting its own detailed peace proposal to Israel and the Palestinians if so-called proximity talks the U.S. is trying to conduct fail.

“Having just had this brouhaha with Obama, and having failed to resolve it, Bibi may well be on the hook for an answer” to U.S. demands on the peace process, veteran U.S. Middle East peace negotiator Aaron David Miller said. “He decided basically I think to pass…He didn’t want another lecture from the Secretary of State.”

The news of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s canceled trip to Washington was warmly welcomed by some republicans in the United States on Thursday. Liz Cheney’s announcement of Netanyahu’s cancellation was met with a round of applause in the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.

Not likely. I prefer this analysis by Clifford Bryan of The Examiner:

Fresh off of President Obama issuing his nuclear posture review. Israel’s Netanyahu has responded by canceling an Israeli delegations trip to the nuclear summit. Obama’s nuclear posture was very ideological in nature and departed greatly from U.S. policy under the last administration. The new policy called for putting the use of nuclear weapons on the back burner. Instead embracing new approaches to stop nuclear proliferation.

This latest political maneuver by Israel signals that Israel was not happy with the strength of the U.S. nuclear posture. It put just as much or more pressure on Israel to come to the table as it did Iran. With Israel’s Netanyahu skipping the nuclear summit it puts an exclamation point on nuclear capability.

Dan Meridor, minister of intelligence and atomic energy, will replace Netanyahu. at the conference, said Mike Hammer, a spokesman for President Barack Obama.

Is Netanyahu thumbing his nose at the nuclear summit? Not quite, in not coming Netanyahu creates the perception in Iran’s mind that the U.S. and Israel are not on the same wave length. Israel is intentionally isolating itself. Showing strength to other countries in the middle east that think they can not stand on their own two feet without U.S. backing.

Iran has benefited from painting the U.S. as a bully. They will not be able to paint Israel as a bully. If Israel engages Iran militarily. The aggressive act could not be used as propaganda so easily by Iran Internationally. Given the strong presence of an Iran backed Hamas in the Gaza strip. that has been a constant thorn in Israel’s side.

This was a complete show of power by Netanyahu. The good thing was Israel did not have to use any weapons.

Whatever the reason, I back Bibi’s decision, and Bibi has decided to show his backbone.

13 thoughts on “Sighting: Bibi’s Backbone”

  1. It's been the policy of the U.S. government to stunt Israel's growth, not only territorially, but economically and militarily as well, since 1948 and in doing so going back on its word on numerous occasions. For example, Israel withdrew from Sinai in 1956 upon the American pledge to keep the Straits of Tiran open. When Egypt blockaded the straits in 1967, President Johnson dishonored the pledge, leading to the Six-Day War and all the controversy over the captured territories at issue today. The best thing Bibi can do to strengthen Israel would be to tell Washington to take its aid and shove it. It's a wonderful feeling to discover that you can walk without a crutch after all.

    1. Thank you Juvanya. The Muslim world has contributed a great deal of knowledge to our world. The concept of 0 would not exist if it were not for the Muslim world.

      Just because currently the Muslim world is in a state of relative staleness concerning innovation, does not mean that it has done nothing to contribute to the world.

      In other words, shut up James, you racist POS.

    2. Michael Zvi Krumbein

      "This article has multiple issues. Please help improve the article or discuss these issues on the talk page.
      It may contain original research or unverifiable claims. Tagged since October 2009.
      Its factual accuracy is disputed. Tagged since October 2009.
      It may contain an unpublished synthesis of published material that conveys ideas not verifiable with the given sources. Please help add reliable sources about this topic. Tagged since October 2009.
      It may contain improper references to self-published sources. Tagged since November 2008."

      I do half agree with you. Undoubdtedly the Muslim world has at times in history been quite advanced. I have tried to argue here that Islam itself is not the problem; it is the way it is currently interpreted. If there is to be reform, I think it will have to come from within Islam.

      1. It may be, but very very slowly. I havent read this book yet, but you may want to add it to your list.

        Something I'm more sure about is that I think 'dark-skinned individuals' (so to speak) are very very slowly becoming fully integrated into society. I see more and more in college and at my high school, a whole load of them (not to sound like a racist or supremacist) came from Newark, likely so their families could get them a better life and education out of the ghetto. There has been a small rise in gang activity, but it's been mostly non-issues fortunately. I think it's working though and soon they will be realizing their full potential and escape from the cycles of decay and poverty they have been stuck in for decades.

        Slowly but surely.

  2. Michael Zvi Krumbein

    Still, I tend to be lenient with these comments because I believe that one should realize when one is at war, and act accordingly. For example, during WWII, Hitler's military record was criticized. That was rediculous (he was in fact a military hero in WWI), but I would not condemn those who did it. (He had a hard time defending himelf because the person who authorized his highest honor was Jewish, to my knowledge.)

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