Obama speaks to Bibi in a photo released by the White House.

Obama speaks to Bibi in a photo released by the White House.

Much ajew about nothing?

Israeli TV newscasters Tuesday night interpreted a photo taken Monday in the Oval Office of President Obama talking on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an “insult” to Israel.

They saw the incident as somewhat akin to an incident last year, when the Iraqi reporter threw a shoe at President Bush in Baghdad.

While I don’t think that the picture conveys such an insult, and the White House probably thought it looked good with Obama in a very “in-charge” mode, it looks like Obama is the Boss.

Luckily, we had a chance to get a transcript:

OBAMA: How’s the wife and kids Bibi?

BIBI: Fine, Barack. How’s Michelle and the kids?

OBAMA: Thanks they are well. Do you mind if cut to the point? I wanted to tell you that we’re hoping to spend Christmas in Bethlehem this year.

BIBI: Oh that is too bad, we’ll miss you. We were thinking of spending Chanukah in Florida.

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Rabbi Yonah


  • IT TRULY IS much ajew about nothing. The shoe story got more readers and more play than the actual telephone convesation or visit to Israel. That is the state of worlds news, which finds it easier to write about garbage than actual real news.

    They said that some ISRAELI NEWSCASTERS are offended by the PIC. Who?? ONE SINGLE haaretz writer mentioned the shoes, and then another newscaster made sport of it by hiring a body language “expert” to analyze the stance and photo. But the body language expert is not a specialist in American culture, was she. The photo shows “comfort.” He is comfortable talking on the phone, and not kicking the shit out of the elected Israeli politician. He is not trying to get Netanyahu to lick the soft leather soles of corinthian shoes. In my opinion, since you see, I am actually a specialist in American body language, with a specialty in Hawaiian raised, Chicago, NY, and DC dialects, if a phone speaker wanted to by pushy, he would have his feet planted firmly on the floor.

    Regarding the dilaogue. They were actually speaking about their wives and J Crew. Well, at least I think Netanyahu was talking about his wife, but one never knows.

  • Larry, as long as the Presidental dog, the Presidential daughters’ table manners, and the question whether it was ok for Michelle Obama to pair the dress she wore to HRM with a cardigan appear on the news, this piece of information can actually be considered a newsworthy event.

  • My take is:
    The official whitehouse photographer took the staged photo to embarrass Bibi.

    Obama is making great efforts to divide Jews from Israel.
    He is pushing the Ilove Jews but Israelis are evil line of modern day anti-semites (Jews and others).

    These may not be his personal feelings, but his left wing extremist Post-Jewish advisers likely feel this way.