The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worseBenjamin Netanyahu, one presumes, has a keen sense of history. Therefore, Israel’s Prime Minister might reflect on what happened when an earlier best friend of the United States overstepped the diplomatic bounds.  Back in 1793, at the height of the French revolution, Edmond Genêt arrived as the new French ambassador to the US, with instructions to get the country that France had helped to independence barely a decade earlier to take its side in the gathering conflict with Britain. The self-styled “Citoyen Genêt”, however, went about his task too enthusiastically, scorning President George Washington’s declaration of American neutrality, and going over the head of the government to foment popular support for his cause. The result was a massive diplomatic crisis, in which even Washington’s foes, basically sympathetic to Genêt’s cause, rallied to the president’s support, and the ambassador came within an ace of being expelled. History, as Mark Twain noted, doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. So skip forward 222 years. This time it’s not Israel’s ambassador but the country’s very leader who’s coming to Washington in March to inject himself directly into US politics and press for tougher US action to ward off a nuclear Iran. The result: another diplomatic crisis, this time between America and its one true friend in the Middle East. It’s no secret that no love is lost between the current US President and Netanyahu. Indeed, open loathing might be a better term. Barack Obama’s six years in office have been marked by a succession of spats and snubs: from Israel’s announcement of new settlements in East Jerusalem at the very moment Vice-President Biden was on a 2010 visit to plead for a settlement slowdown, to the time Obama walked out of a working dinner with Netanyahu, and the occasion in 2011 when the Prime Minister, answering reporters’ questions in the Oval Office, delivered his host a condescending lecture on Israeli history as Obama visibly seethed alongside him. More