Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided suddenly late last week to not attend this week's US-hosted nuclear arms summit. Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Atomic Affairs Dan Meridor will represent Israel in Netanyahu's stead.
According to Netanyahu's office, the decision was made after learning that Egypt and Turkey intended to turn the summit into an international effort to bring an end to Israel's nuclear program. Without the Israeli leader in attendance, it will be much more difficult to do that.
But Israel's Ma'ariv daily newspaper reported just before the weekend that it may not have been only Egypt and Turkey that planned to ambush Netanyahu.
Scientists at Israel's nuclear reactor in Dimona told the newspaper that for the past several months, they have been unable to obtain visas to enter the US and attend American universities, where in the past they regularly advanced their knowledge in the fields of physics, chemistry and nuclear engineering.
The scientists said the Obama Administration has placed an unofficial embargo on parts and supplies needed for the Dimona reactor.
Is it possible that Obama himself intended to strong-arm Netanyahu into finally signing Israel up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty? Considering tensions between the two leaders in recent months and Obama's near-outright hostility toward Israel, many in Jerusalem believe that to be the case.