The White House expressed disappointment in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent visit to Washington, with officials saying that they had hoped that the prime minister would present a concrete plan to scale back Israeli construction in West Bank settlements, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
"We had an idea that he might bring something out to push the process forward," one U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal. "But he's kept it in his pocket."
In his address, Netanyahu also appeared to resist U.S. pressure to promote the two-state solution. He said he was committed to two states living side by side, but stressed that the central issues - the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the homes from which they were expelled and certain territorial claims - would not be on the table. "They must abandon the fantasy of flooding Israel with refugees, give up irredentist claims to the Negev and Galilee, and declare unequivocally that the conflict is finally over," Netanyahu said in his address.
The mystery that shrouded the meeting sparked a wave of speculations. American commentators argued that the White House's refusal to even supply a photo opportunity of the two leaders indicated the American president's dissatisfaction with Netanyahu's policies.
Senior officials in the Obama administration also accused Netanyahu of suggesting that he had the power to pressure Obama with the AIPAC lobby within the U.S. political arena. The White House views this sentiment as a "re-run" of Netanyahu's behaviour during Bill Clinton's administration. This issue apparently came up in the meeting between Netanyahu and Obama.