Saudi Arabia''s Crown Prince Nayif bin Abdul-Aziz al Saud died on Saturday and President Obama finally got around to calling King Abdullah to express his condolences on Wednesday.
That would be four whole days after the death of Abdullah’s half-brother, deputy prime minister and designated successor.
For anyone counting at home, that would be twice as many days as Obama let pass before calling Prime Minister Netanyahu to pass on his condolences over the loss of Netanyahu’s father.
Some Obama critics were quick to jump on that time lapse to make the claim that the president was insulting Netanyahu and/or loathe to mark the passing of a man so hawkish in his defense of Israel.
For them, perhaps Obama’s pause in calling Abdullah will be instructive. After all, Benzion Netanyahu was a 102-year-old historian, not an active government minister. And he wasn’t a key factor in American policies or in close contact with American officials the way Nayif has been.
Indeed, the White House noted in its readout of Wednesday’s call that Obama “expressed his appreciation for Crown Prince Nayif’s many
contributions over decades of service, particularly his leadership in building the strong counterterrorism cooperation that is an important part of the enduring partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia.”
Maybe now the hoopla over when Obama paid his respects to the Israeli premier can finally be put to rest.
- Hilary Leila Krieger