President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have shared some uncomfortable moments:
Netanyahu, in the Oval Office, lectured President Obama about Israeli history and rejected as unrealistic a proposal Obama had suggested the day before. Obama had said that the 1967 borders should be the starting line for a peace deal and creation of a Palestinian state.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Obama didn't realize their microphones were on when Sarkozy was overheard saying, "I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar." Obama replied, "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you."
In Jerusalem, Netanyahu warmly welcomed his old friend Mitt Romney — who was running for president against Obama. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert later said, "After what Netanyahu has done in the past few months, it needs to be asked whether the prime minister has a friend in the White House."
During the presidential campaign, Israeli officials told reporters that the White House had snubbed a request from Netanyahu to meet with Obama while both were in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. At the time, the U.S. was pressing Israel not to take military action against Iran.
In another Oval Office meeting, Obama pressed Netanyahu to accept a peace deal with the Palestinians. Netanyahu had made clear before the session that he was frustrated that the United States had led talks with Iran over its nuclear program and that he disagreed with U.S. policy on Syria. Days before the meeting, Obama in an interview referred to Netanyahu as "Bibi" and told the reporter, "If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who? How does this get resolved?"