Obama, Netanyahu, and Israel’s Bomb

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The daily White House press briefing on Monday was dominated by questions about President Obama’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Did Obama squeeze any concessions out of Bibi on settlements and a two-state solution? Who got more out of the encounter? Is there any reason for Obama to be hopeful about the Middle East other than that he’s a hopeful guy? Was it significant that Obama talked tough about Iran after the session?

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, per his job description, said nothing in response to any of this that could be deemed newsworthy. He offered no details about the talks, other than to say they were “warm” and “constructive.” He did say that the one-on-one portion of the meeting ran about half an hour longer than had been scheduled.

But here’s one question Gibbs didn’t have to field: Given President Obama’s stated commitment to nuclear nonproliferation, did he talk to the Israeli prime minister about Israel’s nuclear arsenal and about its refusal to join the Nonproliferation Treaty? Does Obama believe this is an important matter that warrants his direct involvement?

That topic just didn’t come up in the press room. I was there, but. alas, Gibbs didn’t call on me. And the Israeli bomb seemed to be on nobody else’s mind.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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