One of the most striking elements in the run-up to Monday’s meeting in New York between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump is the lack of the apocalyptic background noise that preceded almost every meeting between Netanyahu and Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.There was certainly a great deal of expectation of a boom about to be lowered when Netanyahu met Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in September 2009.Be the first to know – Join our Facebook page. That meeting – which also included a brief trilateral meeting with Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – came after months of US pressure on Israel to announce a settlement moratorium, an initiative that up until that meeting Netanyahu had rebuffed, at the price of constant and intense tension with Washington.That meeting took place after Obama had already unmistakably set the tone of his relationship with Israel by bypassing Israel on trips to the region that took him to Ankara, Riyadh and Cairo; by demanding a settlement freeze; and by talking about the need to put public daylight between the two allies.So, before the two leaders met at the UN in 2009, there was already talk about administration anger toward Netanyahu and a crisis in the works. That set a pattern that repeated itself for the next eight years. Almost every Netanyahu-Obama meeting was preceded by dire descriptions of their relationship, and of trouble ahead for the US-Israel relationship. The forecast was always stormy.Fast forward eight years to the scheduled meeting with Trump on Monday, which – as was the case with Obama – will take place on the sidelines of the president’s maiden address to the world body.
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