The Meaning Of Sarkozy-Obama’s Exchange On Netanyahu

Ron Kampeas writes: WASHINGTON – Does Nicolas Sarkozy really hate Benjamin Netanyahu? Does President Obama really sympathize?
And does it really matter?

The fleeting, private exchange between the French and U.S. presidents at a summit in Cannes, France, made international headlines, and its meaning is still being parsed by political pundits and pro-Israel activists.

The Anti-Defamation League was the only major centrist Jewish group to publicly rebuke Obama for the Nov. 3 exchange, which was overheard by several journalists at the G-20 summit who were plugged into a listening device monitoring the leaders that was switched on a few minutes early.

“I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy reportedly said – no one recorded the exchange – and Obama supposedly replied, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day.

The ADL called the exchange “un-presidential.”

“President Obama’s response to Mr. Sarkozy implies that he agrees with the French leader,” the ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, said in his Nov. 8 statement. “In light of the revelations here, we hope that the Obama administration will do everything it can to reassure Israel that the relationship remains on a sure footing and to reinvigorate the trust between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, which clearly is not what it should be.”

The ADL’s broadside surprised others among mainstream pro-Israel groups who thought the issue was best dealt with as the conversation was meant to be – privately. One source reported hearing a top official at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee quipping, “Obama and Bibi talk every day? This is great news!”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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