The 48 hours of President Barack Obama visit here last week were crammed with gala events in which numerous Israelis from all walks of life participated. The standouts were the well-attended dinner at the official residence of President Shimon Peres, the intimate supper at Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s home and the presidential speech at the International Convention Center, Binyanei Ha’uma.
But no one bothered to invite Ehud Barak to any of these. As the defense minister, until just 24 hours before Obama landed at Ben-Gurion Airport, Barak was responsible for the two countries’ strategic relations and served as Netanyahu’s envoy to Washington.
Figures in Barak’s circle Wednesday seemed astounded that organizers in both capitals forgot to put Barak on the guest lists.
Around 60 VIPs, for example, were invited to the Peres dinner, including coalition leaders and cabinet ministers; security agency heads; Miss Israel; the actress Gila Almagor; businesswoman Ofra Strauss; Western Wall rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch; Amos Gilad, head of policy and political affairs in the Defense Ministry; Efi Stenzler, KKL-JNF world chairman; entrepreneur Yossi Vardi and local television news editors.
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