President Obama is spending the weekend preparing to speak to an important political constituency, supporters of Israel, after meeting with the Israeli prime minister where body language may have spoken louder than words.
When Obama speaks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of the country's most powerful lobbying groups, his message on Israel and Palestine will remain the same as it was in the address he gave before the tense meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said today.
During that speech on the state of the Middle East, Obama pledged economic help for Arab countries that embrace democracy and spoke of America's need to address the so-called Arab Spring.
In the address, just one day before meeting Netanyahu, the president also called for any future peace agreements between Israel and Palestine to be generally based on the 1967 borders.
During the meeting, the two leaders both casually agreed that differences between the two of them do exist, but their body language indicated that those differences may be larger than the two leaders are letting on.
"Obama is on Mars right now, and the prime minister is on another planet," said Aaron David Miller of the U.S. Advisory Council of Israel Policy Forum. "They simply have different conceptions of how they see this process and how they see one another's needs. A consequence of that is zero space for one to give the other the diplomatic benefit of the doubt."
Point by point, Netanyahu said "no" to many of the president's proposals from a day earlier, as Obama gave him a stony stare.
"We can't go back to those indefensible lines," Netanyahu remarked on Obama's call for Israel's return to the borders before the 1967 war.
"[Obama] looks at the prime minster probably as a politician-slash-conman," Miller said, providing an assessment of Obama and Netanyahu's relationship. "An Israeli prime minister usually sleeps with one eye open. I guarantee you this guy, when it comes to the United States, now is sleeping with two eyes open."
Sources say that Obama and Netanyahu's diplomatic dance may just be political theatrics, since many of the president's suggestions are nothing new from the United States or even Israel.
"The fact that a prime minister of Israel made a proposal that is identical in meaning and almost identical in meaning and almost identical in words makes that case," George Mitchell, the president's former Middle East adviser, said in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Christiane Amanpour.
"The proposal was identical to a proposal made by the Israeli prime minister just prior to Mr. Netanyahu," he said.
The meeting between the two allies was longer than normal for Obama, extending to nearly an hour and a half.
Despite the chilly body language on display during Friday's public meeting, neither side is characterizing the conversations behind closed doors in a negative manner.