Netanyahu Recovers from Bieber Fever

This post has been updated.

The Onion or Haaretz? A report that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled a scheduled meeting with Justin Bieber over Bieber’s refusal to meet with injured Israeli children:

The prime minister was scheduled to host the young singer at his office in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, before Bieber’s Thursday night concert.

Taking advantage of the PR opportunity presented by the meeting with Bieber, Netanyahu’s advisers invited a group of children from communities near the Gaza border to attend.

The children had disembarked from a school bus just before it was hit by a Hamas rocket last Thursday, critically wounded a teen and moderately wounding the bus driver.

Bieber reportedly refused to meet the children, which led Netanyahu to cancel the meeting.

Of course my first thought was, what is a good Christian heartthrob doing taking sides on Israel v. Gaza? Shouldn’t he be reflexively milking a photo op with injured Israel children for all it’s worth to his Israel-fetishizing followers? Is he going to (gasp!) meet instead with Palestinian children injured by Israeli bombs?

Or perhaps there’s something less political at work. I’m waiting for the story behind the story.

(h/t Laura Rozen).

UPDATE: With the help of Sarah Jaffe, I’ve discerned from Bieber’s Twitter feed that his motives are undoubtedly not political.

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email