The snub marked a fresh low in US-Israeli relations and appeared designed to show Mr Netanyahu how low his stock had fallen in Washington after he refused to back down in a row over Jewish construction in east Jerusalem.
The Israeli prime minister arrived at the White House on Tuesday evening brimming with confidence that the worst of the crisis in his country's relationship with the United States was over.
Over the previous two days, he had been feted by senior Republicans and greeted warmly by members of Congress. He had also received a standing ovation from the American Israel Public Affairs Affairs Committee, one of the most influential lobby groups in the United States.
But Mr Obama was less inclined to be so conciliatory. He immediately presented Mr Netanyahu with a list of 13 demands designed both to the end the feud with his administration and to build Palestinian confidence ahead of the resumption of peace talks. Key among those demands was a previously-made call to halt all new settlement construction in east Jerusalem.
When the Israeli prime minister stalled, Mr Obama rose from his seat declaring: "I'm going to the residential wing to have dinner with Michelle and the girls."
As he left, Mr Netanyahu was told to consider the error of his ways. "I'm still around," Mr Obama is quoted by Israel's Yediot Ahronot newspaper as having said. "Let me know if there is anything new."
For over an hour, Mr Netanyahu and his aides closeted themselves in the Roosevelt Room on the first floor of the White House to map out a response to the president's demands.
And that's how you do it, friends.
I love the foreign policy of our new Kenyan overlord.