Obama officials deny strained relations with him. White House sources say it. They're paid to lie. So are ambassadors. Dan Shapiro, Washington's Israeli envoy, said both men agreed by phone to continue their "close cooperation and conversations."
Some wonder. Netanyahu goes out of his way to alienate people. Even America's media and some Democrats are less supportive.
The New York Times reported what it called "unusually harsh public comments about Israel's most important ally." Its September 13 article headlined "Obama Rebuffs Netanyahu on Setting Limits on Iran's Nuclear Program."
An unnamed US official said Washington's red line is an Iranian nuclear weapon. There is none, of course, nor plans to build one.
Netanyahu demands more. Relations with Obama reflect "frequently crossed wires." Netanyahu's bluster doesn't help. Saying Obama has no "moral right" to restrain Israel fuels resentment.
Israeli officials are offended. Netanyahu "faces deep divisions within his own country." His own deputy prime minister for intelligence and atomic affairs, Dan Meridor, told Israeli Army radio: "I don't want to set red lines or deadlines for myself." Others share his view for good reason.
Senator Barbara Boxer posted a letter on her web site headlined "Boxer Expresses Disappointment Over Israeli Prime Minister's Remarks."
Calling herself one of Israel's strongest supporters, she said Netanyahu's comments are "utterly contrary to the extraordinary United States-Israel alliance"."
"In light of this, I am stunned by the remarks that you made this week regarding U.S. support for Israel. Are you suggesting that the United States is not Israel's closest ally and does not stand by Israel?"
"Are you saying that Israel, under President Obama, has not received more in annual security assistance from the United States than at any time in its history, including for the Iron Dome Missile Defense System?"
In New Yorker editor David Remnick 's Neocon Gambits article, he said:
"It is hard to overestimate the risks that Benjamin Netanyahu poses to the future of his own country. As Prime Minister, he has done more than any other political figure to embolden and elevate the reactionary forces in Israel, to eliminate the dwindling possibility of a just settlement with the Palestinians, and to isolate his country on the world diplomatic stage."
"Now Netanyahu seems determined, more than ever, to alienate the President of the United States and, as an ally of Mitt Romney's campaign, to make himself a factor in the 2012 election - one no less pivotal than the most super Super PAC."
He added that Netanyahu's most trusted US allies are hardliners going along with him no matter what he says, does, or wants.
Other US media critics call him "brazen," "disgusting," "overbearing," and "over-the-top." It's hard remembering any previous Israeli leader taken to task this way.