Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has turned down an invitation to meet with Senate Democrats, politely informing them that meeting with one party alone “could compound the misperception of partisanship regarding my upcoming visit,” according to Reuters. It is a response that reprises Democrats’ complaints about the speech Netanyahu is to deliver before a joint session of Congress on March 3–and turns their own arguments against them.
Democrats complained that the speech violated some heretofore unknown protocol, that it was too closely coordinated with the GOP, and that it made Israel into a partisan issue–as if their own party’s leftward drift was not the primary cause of that problem. Nominally pro-Israel Democrats like Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Dianne Feinstein of California likely saw a separate meeting with Netanyahu as a way to welcome him while putting their own spin on his upcoming visit and undermining the main event.
Netanyahu denied them that opportunity, and in so doing affirmed the will of the American electorate that chose the GOP to lead Congress, not a minority Democratic rump trying to split the difference between their radical president and reality.
Netanyahu’s message may also be aimed much higher. If, as has been noted recently, President Barack Obama is “trolling” Republicans by irritating them with policies that defy the midterm election results, he may have met his “trolling” match.