By Howard Arenstein,CBS News
Israeli TV newscasters Tuesday night interpreted a photo taken Monday in the Oval Office of President Obama talking on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an “insult”to Israel.
They saw the incident as somewhat akin to an incident last year,when the Iraqi reporter threw a shoe at President Bush in Baghdad.
It is considered an insult in the Arab world to show the sole of your shoe to someone. It is not a Jewish custom necessarily,but Israel feels enough a part of the Middle East after 60 years to be insulted too.
Was there a subliminal message intended from the White House to Netanyahu in Jerusalem,who is publicly resisting attempts by Mr. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to force Israel to stop any kind of settlement activity in occupied territories once and forever?