While in Israel to perform a concert on Thursday, Justin Bieber was set to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But the plans fell through and now the Bieb finds himself "embroiled in a diplomatic imbroglio."
New York Times reporter Isabel Kershner, who's getting good practice should she want to write for The Onion someday, details the tense negotiations between Netanyahu and "Mr. Bieber's" camps. A spokesman said the prime minister's office had suggested inviting children from communities in southern Israel that have been hit with rockets from Gaza in the past few days, but Bieber's people turned down the idea.
Bieber's rep countered that this was simply a miscommunication. She claims the meeting was nixed for purely logistical reasons, and "Justin welcomes the chance to meet with kids facing difficult circumstances, regardless of their background, and in fact, he had already invited children from the Sderot area."
Assuming Bieber doesn't have any revolutionary ideas for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the concept of a conference between the pop star and any foreign leader seems pretty ridiculous. Though, Netanyahu's office may have been more open to staging a photo-op because some artists have been boycotting Israel. The Times notes, "The arrival of other stars, including Joan Armatrading, Rihanna,Elton John and Rod Stewart, has been celebrated as a sign of normalcy and acceptance."
In addition to political troubles, Bieber has complained about being harassed by paparazzi during the trip. On Tuesday he Tweeted,
You would think paparazzi would have some respect in holy places. All I wanted was the chance to walk where jesus did here in isreal.
Bieber then declared that he's "Staying in the hotel for the rest of the week u happy?" Thankfully, Prime Minister Netanyahu didn't feel it was necessary to comfort his potential chum via Twitter.