Obama’s secret remarks about Netanyahu

How Obama's recent remarks show his true colors regarding Netanyahu.

Obama and Sarkozy, R, 311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Obama and Sarkozy, R, 311
(photo credit: Reuters)
Apparently unaware that his microphone was on,,French President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed his contempt for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by calling him a liar. US President Barack Obama was only too happy to commiserate, and taking things one step further than his French counterpart, the president lamented his misfortune in having to deal with Netanyahu.
Ho hum. As Ecclesiastes would say, is there anything new under the sun? Surely, there can be nothing surprising about a French leader condemning an Israeli leader. Like gravity or the Earth’s orbit around the sun, it’s accepted as part of the laws of nature.
Indeed, Sarkozy is a lot better than his predecessor, former president Jacques Chirac, who practiced undisguised contempt toward Israel. When it comes to France and Israel, diminished expectations are in order.
As for Obama? For the first two years of his presidency, he acted with condescension toward the democratically elected leader of the Israeli people. This year, however, after experiencing his self-confessed “shellacking” during the 2010 mid-term elections, he decided to make nice with Bibi as a result of his perceived unfriendliness to the Jewish State. Albeit without the warmth of the two-armed embrace he reserved for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, or the bow he accorded King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Obama made efforts to treat Netanyahu with some degree of respect.
A few weeks ago I published a column that made the claim that even amid Obama’s new posture toward Israel, he still could not be trusted with Israel’s security. The reason for this is that Obama believes that Israeli intransigence, and not Islamist terror, is the principal obstacle to peace in the Middle East.
Though I was careful to condemn any insinuations that Obama bears any innate hostility to Israel, the fact remains that Obama is following in the footsteps of former US presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton with the mutual sentiment that Israeli toughness, rather than Palestinian rejection of Israel’s right to exist, is the reason for the continuation of the conflict.
I was criticized by some commentators for penning the column. Wasn’t Obama the man who defended Israel at the UN against the unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood? And has he not supported Israel militarily? Indeed he was and indeed he has. The president deserves our community’s thanks for his-- albeit belated—public support of Israel.
Despite these actions, it’s refreshing to finally hear from the horse's mouth—and far from the eyes and ears of the voters—what the president really thinks of Israel’s democratically elected leader. The president thought that his only audience was a sympathetic Frenchman, but, unfortunately for Obama—a man who rarely makes such blunders—he forgot to check that his mike was off.
Say what you want about Jimmy Carter, but at least his disdain for Israel and its leadership was consistent and out in the open. Here is a man who compared Israel in the title of one of his books to apartheid South Africa. Likewise, Clinton, in an ongoing policy of contempt for Netanyahu, attacked the latter as an obstacle to peace just a few weeks ago.
Obama continues to be a disappointment. If he despises Netanyahu, let him not play games
with the American-Jewish community and feign friendship in return for votes. After all, Obama came to the White House as the anti-politician, a man who was going to change the ways of Washington. A leader who was going to say what he means and mean what he says.
How disappointing to discover he is guilty of the same beltway double-speak he once condemned. How disappointing to discover that our president is simply yet another politician.
The writer has just published Ten Conversations You Need to Have with Yourself (Wiley) Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.