President Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House strengthened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hold on the Israeli right at large, not just its extremes. Throughout that time, the prime minister cultivated the myth that if he did not stand firm against Obama, the Iranians would race toward their goal of obtaining a nuclear bomb and Israel would be forced to evacuate the settlers.
At the start of Obama’s first term, Netanyahu was taken aback by the president's chilly attitude toward him. He was concerned by Obama’s decision to skip Israel when he travelled to Cairo to deliver his historic speech calling for a “new beginning” in the relationship between the United States and the Arab world June 4, 2009. The trip came just one month after Netanyahu’s first meeting with the president in the White House, where Obama asked Netanyahu to stop all settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.