What’s the U.S. policy toward Israel? It may depend on which branch of government you ask.
On Capitol Hill, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got a warm reception during his Washington visit this week. Eric Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, says Congress is on “a different page” than the Obama administration over Jewish settlements in Jerusalem and the overall U.S. relationship with Israel.
Netanyahu got a less obviously effusive welcome from the Obama administration. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met him at a hotel on Monday and his White House meeting with the president on Tuesday took place behind closed doors, without photographers present.
But on Capitol Hill he was warmly, openly and officially received by leading lawmakers. Cameras clicked and rolled as Netanyahu was greeted in ornate reception rooms, first in the House of Representatives, then in the Senate Tuesday. In between, he lunched with lawmakers.
The Israeli prime minister got to hear his own words echo around the hallowed halls of Congress as well. At the morning meeting with Netanyahu, “Many of us said, Jerusalem is not a settlement,” Cantor told Reuters afterwards.