PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: With respect to Prime Minister Netanyahu, I talk to him all the time. Our teams constantly coordinate. We have a practice of not meeting with leaders right before their elections -- two weeks before their elections. As much as I love Angela [Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, stage left] if she were two weeks away from an election she probably would not have received an invite to the White House.
And I suspect she would not have asked for one. So, you know.
[laughter, Merkel smiles and nods]
So this is just, some of this just has to do with how we do business. I think it is important for us to maintain these protocols because the U.S.-Israeli relationship is not about a particular party. This isn't a relationship founded on affinity between the Labor party and the Democratic Party or Likud and the Republican Party, this is the U.S.-Israeli relationship that extends beyond parties and has to do with that unbreakable bond that we feel and our commitment to Israel's security and the shared values that we have. And the way to preserve that is to make sure that it doesn't get clouded with what could be perceived as partisan politics. Whether it is accurate or not, that is a perception.