Snubbed Mogherini Cancels Visit to Yerushalayim

YERUSHALAYIM -

One European leader who was not on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s itinerary during last week’s trip to the continent was European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Mogherini wanted Mr. Netanyahu on her itinerary during her planned visit to Yerushalayim on Monday, but the prime minister refused. So on Sunday night she cancelled the visit, according to media reports.

Both sides try to paper over the snub in diplomatic jargon: Mogherini’s office said she was in Jordan this weekend and wanted to add a stop in Israel to her trip.

“We had looked into the possibility of expanding this visit to Jerusalem, where she was invited to speak at the American Jewish Committee. For agenda reasons, it turned out that this was not possible,” the statement said.

One official said Mr. Netanyahu couldn’t see her because of “scheduling problems,” often a euphemism for a diplomatic snub.

However, the superbusy Mr. Netanyahu was able to find a slot in his schedule for meetings with the Latvian and Irish foreign ministers in his office the very evening of his return from Europe on Thursday.

“She was invited by the American Jewish Committee for their conference and not by Israel,” said a diplomatic official. “Mogherini’s positions are very hostile towards Israel.”

She and Mr. Netanyahu have been very much at odds over issues of Iran, the U.S. embassy move, the IDF handling of the Gaza riots and building in Yehudah and Shomron.