White House 'puzzled' over Netanyahu storm
As a row over Israeli settlement building raged, Netanyahu held late-night talks at the White House a week ago, but did not get a press appearance with Obama and the administration failed to even release an official photo.
He returned home to a torrent of criticism in the Israeli media over his treatment, with some commentators arguing he had been humiliated in a test of wills with Obama over sharp differences on Middle East peace diplomacy.
"That doesn't seem like a lot of punishment to me."
On Sunday, another senior White House official, David Axelrod, had insisted that no snub was intended to Netanyahu, but added that friends such as Israel and the United States sometimes needed to talk "bluntly" to one another.
Obama met Netanyahu for two separate meetings at the White House last week lasting two hours.
The next day, the Israeli leader met US envoy George Mitchell and national security staff from the two allies spent hours in negotiations.
It has since revealed philosophical and political differences between
A week after Netanyahu's visit to Washington positions only appear to be hardening.
The Israeli leader on Sunday accused the Palestinians of blocking US peace efforts.
The Palestinians had earlier reiterated their refusal to hold even indirect talks without a complete Jewish settlement freeze and following a flare-up of violence in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.