Senior Israeli and American officials say the White House is seething with anger against Netanyahu. Following the trick he concocted with Republican leaders in Congress, Netanyahu is said to be “toast” as far as Obama is concerned.
Haaretz goes on to speculate on the many ways Obama might “get back” at Bibi for his insolence, but none seems likely beyond playing hard to get when (or if) Bibi follows through with his plan to speak before Congress.
But, they really hit the nail on the head with this assessment:
In the past week Dermer, Netanyahu and Boehner have overcooked this dish until it’s ruined. Instead of enlisting Democratic senators to support new sanctions on Iran, the Israeli-American scandal had the opposite result. Netanyahu managed to do the impossible: He helped Obama rehabilitate his relations with his party members in the House and Senate.
The 10 Democratic senators who were considering supporting the sanctions are now toeing the White House’s line. The new legislation was put in the freezer until after the Israeli elections. Nancy Pelosi, minority leader of the House of Representatives, called Netanyahu and suggested reconsidering delivering the speech, and a group of congressmen started petitioning members for a letter calling on Boehner to put off his invitation to Netanyahu until April, when the prime minister may no longer be politically relevant.
As in many cases in the past, Netanyahu’s attempts to confront Obama on the president’s home court boomeranged. Once again Netanyahu ended up on the losing side. Having no meetings with any senior administration officials, with an agenda that has turned temporarily irrelevant, and in a situation where his trip could cause more damage than good, perhaps Netanyahu would do better to stay at home and focus on his election campaign.