PM meets with Obama amid tensions between J'lem, US

Netanyahu en route to Washington says "sometimes being right also means being smart," stresses he will bring up "principal matters" regarding Israel's existence with US president during meeting.

Netanyahu 311 reuters (photo credit: Reuters)
Netanyahu 311 reuters
(photo credit: Reuters)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with US President Barack Obama at the White House for a meeting scheduled to last an hour.
The meeting was scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. local time, after which the prime minister and US president were expected to issue separate statements before heading to a working lunch.
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Netanyahu said on Friday en route to a Washington meeting Friday morning with US President Barack Obama, said "there are certain things that cannot be swept under the rug."
Netanyahu was referring to a negative response Thursday to President Obama's Mideast speech.
"Sometimes being right also means being smart," he said, playing on the phrase that sometimes it's better to be smart than right.
He said this is especially true when dealing with principal matters that are part of the Israeli consensus.
An official on board the plane taking Netanyahu to Washington told reporters, "There is a feeling that Washington does not understand the reality, doesn't understand what we face."
"The prime minister's tough response expresses the disappointment with the absence of central issues that Israel demanded, chiefly the refugee (issue)," he added.
Netanyahu said he will bring these matters up in his meeting with Obama and in his speech to congress and AIPAC. As for the US president's statement that Israel be willing to return to the 1967 borders, Netanyahu had reportedly contacted Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on Thursday asking that the 1967 reference be removed from the president's speech.
Clinton reportedly said that was not going to happen. 
The prime minister issued a quick, bitter response on Thursday night to Obama’s speech, saying that the establishment of a Palestinian state could not come “at Israel’s expense.”
“The Palestinians, and not only the US, must recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people,” he said.
Netanyahu said he “expects to hear from President Obama a reconfirmation of commitments to Israel from 2004 that received wide support in both houses of Congress.”