Israeli President Reuven Rivlin is in the US, with a jam packed schedule that will not include a visit with Barack Obama.
Israeli media reported this week that the White House asked Rivlin to a summit meeting with Obama in DC. Some news agencies implied the invitation was meant to show up Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was not invited to meet with Obama when he addresses US Congress in March.
Some outlets, including Israel’s Channel 10, are surmising Rivlin’s quiet decline to the invitation is a show of solidarity with the prime minister.
“Over the past few days, there has been contact between the relevant parties in Israel and the US, discussing the possibility of a meeting between President Obama and President Rivlin during his visit to New York to address the United Nations Holocaust commemorations,” read a statement for Rivlin’s office.
“At this stage, it has been agreed not to hold a meeting during his visit, due to the schedule constraints of both leaders, and that a meeting would be scheduled at a later date.”
While in the US, Rivlin will address Holocaust commemorations at the United Nations–tomorrow is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Sunday, Rivlin spoke at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, saying, “Today, we are faced with the need to combat terror.”
“We must remember that Islam is not an enemy, and we have no war with Islam. Our enemy is hatred, the hatred inherent in fundamentalism. The victims of this hatred are the religious minorities — Christians, Yazidis, and Kurds — and lest we forget that, first and foremost, there have been hundreds of thousands of Muslims slaughtered.”