“Ambush” is the word that was widely used in the Israeli media to describe the reception that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was given at the White House on Tuesday.

The Israeli media cited a number of steps that were taken by the White House in order to “humiliate” the prime minister, who received “the treatment reserved for the president of Equatorial Guinea,” to use one pundit’s description, or that of “the last of the wazirs from Lower Senegal,” as another pundit put it.

President Obama abruptly left Mr. Netanyahu in the middle of their meeting to go eat dinner with his wife and daughters, reportedly urging the prime minister to meet and consult with his aides “so that if he changed his mind he could inform the president right away.”

“I’m still around. Let me know if there is anything new,” the Israeli media quoted the president as saying.

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President Obama reportedly made a list of demands from Mr. Netanyahu, which include Israel’s consent to extend the settlement construction freeze beyond its Oct.1 expiration date and to expand the areas of Jerusalem that it annexed after the 1967 war.

The president also reportedly asked to secure Israeli consent to redeploy its military forces in a way that would restore the situation on the ground that existed prior to the Palestinian uprising in September of 2000.

After 25,000 Palestinian terror attacks between 2000 and 2005, which took the lives of 1,370 people, Israel redeployed its forces throughout Arab populated areas in Judea and Samaria, to reduce Arab terror infiltration.

Mr. Obama also reportedly demanded that Israel release of hundreds of Palestinians who have been convicted of murder and attempted murder.

Throughout the visit, Mr. Netanyahu held personal consultations at the Israeli embassy in Washington, and not on the phone, for fear of being wiretapped.

Most recently, an Israeli lawyer in the employ of the U.S. Justice Department, Mr. Shammai Leibovitz, revealed to reporters in Washington that his supervisors asked him to log translate transcripts of Hebrew language wiretapped phone conversations that emanated from the Israeli embassy in Washington.

Mr. Leibowitz refused to abide by this request and was fired from his position after he met with a reporter and has been indicted for sharing classified documents from the Justice Department with the media.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com.


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.