As long as he remains prime minister, relations with any US president won't be easy.
"The most important interest today," he claims, "is to prevent Iran from continuing its clear effort to obtain nuclear weapons - weapons in the hands of a state that calls for our destruction and is bent on achieving its goal."- Advertisement -
Of course, he, other Israeli officials and US ones know Iran has no nuclear weapons program, doesn't plan one, threatens no one, and isn't hell bent to destroy Israel. Yet he keeps saying it. His bluster long ago wore thin. No wonder Obama, other US officials, and some Israeli ones are fed up with him.
He'll keep stressing red lines, he says. Without them, "Iranians would have no reason to stop their drive to obtain nuclear weapons." His bombast won't quit. Nor do supportive comments from other Likudnik hardliners.
Opposition leader Shaul Mofaz blamed him for strained US/Israeli relation. "Throughout Israel's history," he said, "the drums of war have never beaten so incessantly as during these days."
Jonathan Cook calls America's special relationship with Israel more myth than reality. It's been "propagated by politicians to mask the suspicion - and plentiful examples of duplicity and betrayal - that have marked the relationship since Israel's founding."
"Politicians may prefer to express undying love for Israel, and hand over billions of dollars annually in aid, but the US security establishment has - at least, in private - always regarded Israel as an unfaithful partner."
Disagreement over Iran is palpable. It's more about timing than intent. At the same time, officials in both countries strongly oppose war. They know potential consequences are too catastrophic to risk.