To explain Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to forego a meeting with US President Barak Obama, associates of the prime minister noted to Al-Monitor the US primaries and Netanyahu’s desire to avoid being dragged into the ruckus surrounding them. While there is some truth to this excuse, given on condition of anonymity, it is not exactly high on the list of the real reasons. What is taking place in the US primaries has caused great consternation to Netanyahu as well as his American political patron, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. In contrast to the previous presidential contest, during which Adelson sunk many millions into the candidacy of Newt Gingrich before skipping over to Mitt Romney’s camp and investing $100 million in him, this time, Netanyahu and Adelson are waiting to see which way the wind would turn. The problem is that the wind has swirled in a crazy direction. No one in Netanyahu or Adelson’s circles had dreamed of Donald Trump's rise. Now they are beginning to get used to him, as reflected in the tone of the articles in Israel Hayom, the pro-Netanyahu newspaper financed by Adelson.
Netanyahu had two more important reasons that induced him to skip the meeting with Obama on March 18 and waive an appearance before American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) the following night. One was a diplomatic reason, the other was political-religious.