Despite a supposed White House policy against meeting foreign leaders facing elections, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry both met with Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog in Munich on Saturday. Herzog is the main rival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Mar. 17 election, and his supporters played up the meeting as evidence that Herzog is more respected by the Obama administration and world leaders in general than Netanyahu.
Herzog has also called upon Netanyahu to cancel his speech to a special joint session of the U.S. Congress next month, the Jerusalem Post notes. The White House said that President Obama would not meet with Netanyahu, citing Israel’s upcoming election as the reason. Biden and Kerry, however, met with Herzog–meetings that could not have happened by accident, even if they occurred in a hallway of the Munich Security Conference. Such meetings are carefully choreographed.
The Obama administration is thought to be supporting Netanyahu’s rivals tacitly, through a State Department-funded group called OneVoice International, which in turn is funding V15, a political group aided by Obama campaign alumni that aims to unseat Netanyahu in March. Another source of funding for V15 is American billionaire Daniel Abraham, according to the Times of Israel, who is also “a long-time backer of the US Democratic party and the Clinton Foundation.”
Biden and Kerry have both had run-ins with Netanyahu, even as they proclaimed their support for Israel. Biden, who says he will miss Bibi’s speech due to travel, condemned a decision in 2010 to build housing in a Jewish area of Jerusalem, triggering a public spat, during which then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton let it be known she had berated Netanyahu. Kerry clashed in 2014 with Israel’s Minister of Defense, Moshe “Bogey” Ya’alon, who privately called him “messianic.”
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak