French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu a liar in a conversation with the US president,
French website Arret Aur Images reported on Monday night, a report confirmed by a Reuters journalist.
cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," Sarkozy told US President Barack
Obama during a frank exchange where the US president took him to task
for backing a Palestinian request for membership of the UN cultural
heritage agency UNESCO.
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You're fed up, Obama responded, but I have to deal with it all day.
The comments were overheard by a small number of journalists during a
meeting between Obama and Sarkozy at the G20 summit meeting on November
3. A technical failure allowed the journalists to listen to the private
conversation on their monitors. They were then asked to refrain from
reporting what they had heard.
A Reuters reporter was among the journalists present and can confirm the
veracity of the comments, which were relayed by a French internet
outlet on Tuesday.
Labor MK Daniel Ben-Simon told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that he is “embarrassed as a citizen and as a MK” by Sarkozy’s words.
“I was embarrassed to read what Sarkozy thinks about our prime minister,
and I was even more embarrassed to hear that the US President agrees
with him,” Ben-Simon said.
“I am filled with shame that this is the way two of our greatest allies
treat our prime minister,” he added. “I think this is the first time
such comments have been publicized.”
“If [Netanyahu] lies so easily to important officials, just imagine how much he lies to us,” Ben-Simon stated.
Kadima, whose last Knesset campaign slogan was "Bibi, I don't believe him," chose not to comment on the matter.
"What Sarkozy said is more than enough," a party spokesman quipped.
Reuters contributed to this report.