ISRAEL: NO BILL, NO BIBI, NO DEAL

INSIDE THE MEETING BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND ISRAEL'S NEW LEADER, THE TONE WAS FORMAL--AND COOL

Bill Clinton has an Arkansan's aversion to formality. The German Chancellor's name is Helmut, the French President goes by Jacques, and Russia's leader answers to Boris. But when the new Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, paid a visit to Washington last week, Clinton ushered him into the Oval Office with a studied "Welcome to the White House, Mr. Prime Minister." In fact, over the course of a nearly two-hour private meeting, the President never once called Netanyahu "Bibi," as he is universally known in Israel. And rather than refer to his counterpart as "Bill," Netanyahu stuck to "Mr. President."

Given the...

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