Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returns to the White House next week seeking to boost annual U.S. military aid to an estimated $4.5 billion and, his former ambassador to Washington says.
â€œItâ€™s not going to be warm and fuzzy,â€ said Michael Oren, an Israeli lawmaker who was Netanyahuâ€™s U.S. envoy for five years. â€œItâ€™s about what we need to defend ourselves and what we need to deter Iran.â€
Netanyahuâ€™s March 3 speech to the Republican-led Congress opposing the Iran accord so strained ties with President Barack Obama that he was told he wouldnâ€™t be welcome at the White House. Now that the deal has been approved, both men have reasons to focus during this visit on areas of agreement, such as strengthening Israelâ€™s defense capabilities. Few expect resolution of their ideological differences over Iran and peace efforts with the Palestinians before Obamaâ€™s term ends.