American bear hug? Interior Minister Eli Yishai has been officially invited to visit the White House.
The decision is apparently the result of the US Administration's desire to forge closer ties with the minister they perceive to be behind the east Jerusalem construction turmoil during Vice President Joe Biden's visit in Israel.
During Biden's visit last month, the Interior Ministry approved the construction of 1,800 housing units in east Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood.
The invitation was handed to Yishai by Dan Shapiro, Director of the Middle East department at the National Security Council.
Shapiro was also the one who reprimanded Yishai following the east Jerusalem construction decision, yet despite the harsh tones, the interior minister was asked to visit Washington at that time already. The official invitation, as noted, was extended Wednesday.
At the time, Yishai expressed his satisfaction in respect to the US holding him responsible for the east Jerusalem construction affair.
In an interview with Shas' journal, he said that he "thanks the Creator for being given the right to be the minister who approves the construction of thousands of housing units in Jerusalem. This is the Jewish people's capital. We built in Jerusalem for many years, and we'll continue to build it."