JTA Reports: “I think we also have to communicate that Israel is our ally — our close ally,” said Romney, the former Massachusetts governor. “The president’s decision not to meet with Bibi Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, when the prime minister is here for the United Nations session, I think, is a mistake and it sends a message throughout the Middle East that somehow we distance ourselves from our friends and I think the exact opposite approach is what’s necessary.”
Netanyahu pressed for a meeting because of accelerating tensions with Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons program.
Obama’s aides noted that the president leaves New York before Yom Kippur, on Wednesday, and that Netanyahu arrives afterward. They also pointed out that Obama has not scheduled any one-on-one meetings with foreign leaders during the General Assembly.