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Washington - White House Tries To Limit Netanyahu "Liar" Damage

Published on: November 9, 2011 04:47 PM
By: Reuters
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Washington - The White House sought on Wednesday to limit damage to U.S.-Israel relations following revelations that French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel “a liar” in a private conversation with President Barack Obama.

“Our record speaks very clearly about the president’s commitment to Israel and he has maintained a very close working relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu,” White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters, referring to Obama.

Obama has had a difficult relationship with Netanyahu, who criticized him for pushing Israel too hard in the drive for a Middle East peace deal, straining Obama’s standing with Jewish American voters as he campaigns for re-election next year.

Reporters covering the G20 summit in Cannes last week overheard French President Nicolas Sarkozy call Netanyahu a “liar” while talking to Obama.

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Instead of contradicting Sarkozy’s characterization of Netanyahu, Obama appeared to commiserate. “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” the U.S. president replied, according to the French interpreter.

The White House declined to comment on the Obama-Sarkozy conversation, citing its private nature.

The exchange was monitored by reporters listening on translation devices while they waited nearby to cover public remarks from the two leaders after their bilateral meeting.

Jewish American voters worried by Obama’s views on Israel could hurt him in next year’s general election.

They are a powerful voting bloc in Florida, a vital swing state that Obama won in 2008. In September, his Democrats lost a heavily Jewish New York congressional district that had been in the party’s hands since the 1920s, with anti-Obama sentiment blamed for the swing.

While not commenting on the “liar” remark, the White House went out of its way to stress that Obama was fighting for Israel’s interests throughout the G20 summit, which was otherwise preoccupied with a euro zone debt crisis.

“Our actions speak very loudly, which is that this president has taken strategic cooperation with Israel to unprecedented levels,” Rhodes said.

“In so far as the Middle East came up at all at the G20, it was the president raising with other leaders his opposition to Palestinian membership in U.N. agencies,” he added.

France voted in favor of a Palestinian request to join the U.N. cultural heritage agency UNESCO.

Obama chided him for that vote, according to reporting of their private conversation on a French website that Reuters has confirmed. The day the conversation took place, the Palestinians announced that they would not seek membership of any other U.N. agency.


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Read Comments (21)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 09, 2011 at 05:10 PM 2ThePoint Says:

Just Keep on doing whatever you doing -Obama, you're just helping us -fire you out of the white house in 2013.
You're making it easier for us. Thank you

2

 Nov 09, 2011 at 06:17 PM shredready Says:

obama did not call bibi a lair

a non story

also


France voted in favor of a Palestinian request to join the U.N. cultural heritage agency UNESCO.

Obama chided him for that vote,

3

 Nov 09, 2011 at 06:32 PM kalman1 Says:

I don't think this incident proves that Obama is anti-Israel (although he may very well be). It does show his pathetic nature of seeking approval. His response is the typical sycophantic response to the gossip who attacks another person. Pathetic.

4

 Nov 09, 2011 at 06:33 PM BoazX Says:

Israel dosen't the US. The redemption has begun.It's US Jews who benefit from US aid to Israel. They feel more secure.

5

 Nov 09, 2011 at 06:43 PM sherry'sBusted Says:

Gee, this article seems to totally shoot down Sherry's phony claim that nobama meant that only that he "must work with Netanyahu every day." The article clearly states that "instead of contradicting sarkozy, obama appears to commiserate with him." No surprise. obama is a Jew-hater.

6

 Nov 09, 2011 at 06:43 PM sayididit Says:

Mr. President, YOU LIE.

7

 Nov 09, 2011 at 06:49 PM upper Says:

“Our record speaks very clearly about the president’s commitment to Israel and he has maintained a very close working relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu,”

Yeah, who doesn't remember the lashing Netanyahu got in the white house from his 'close' friend Obama?

8

 Nov 09, 2011 at 06:51 PM eighthcomment Says:

At what point do u say if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck its an anti semite!

9

 Nov 09, 2011 at 07:07 PM HaNavon Says:

At this point, the only thing that Obama can do is to convert to Judaism and turn the white house into a shteebl!

10

 Nov 09, 2011 at 07:08 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #5  
sherry'sBusted Says:

Gee, this article seems to totally shoot down Sherry's phony claim that nobama meant that only that he "must work with Netanyahu every day." The article clearly states that "instead of contradicting sarkozy, obama appears to commiserate with him." No surprise. obama is a Jew-hater.

because he hates working with bibi

big deal,

not liking to work with one Jew foes not make one a Jew hater

also bibi sometimes shows him up, and he does not like that

nothing to do with not liking Israel or Jews

11

 Nov 09, 2011 at 07:35 PM Upset Says:

Obama is saying I got to deal with Natanyahu only until I am reelected. Then as a laying duck president I can call it quits on Israel. Sorry you are not going to have that chance and we will vote you out of office.

12

 Nov 09, 2011 at 08:07 PM SherryTheNoahide Says:

Reply to #2  
shredready Says:

obama did not call bibi a lair

a non story

also


France voted in favor of a Palestinian request to join the U.N. cultural heritage agency UNESCO.

Obama chided him for that vote,

Thank you Shredready, for posting the FACTS on the situation! I was wondering why the White House is so "worried" over this whole thing anyway! It has nothing to do with us! President Obama didn't call Bibi a liar!

Not to mention, there's a lot of Jewish folks who actually think Bibi *IS* a bit of a liar! (lol) And from what I've seen so far... our President does a better job of eradicating terrorism & making trouble for them, than Bibi does!

Bibi lets out over 1,000 Palestinian terrorists in exchange for ONE soldier... meanwhile, President Obama has taken down (or aided in taking down) some of the worst offenders in our generation's history! No question about it!

So I really think this is all a big "non-story", as you've stated here. A really big distraction from the real issues at hand.

13

 Nov 09, 2011 at 08:41 PM Heather Says:

Why isnt everyone criticizing Sarkowzy for actually calling Bibi a liar?

14

 Nov 09, 2011 at 09:06 PM Sherree Says:

This is yad Hashem. Hashem will show the world what a phony and liar Obama is.

15

 Nov 09, 2011 at 09:11 PM Anonymous Says:

I agree with several of the prior postings. This is a non-story where you had one politician trying to deflect a stupid comment from another politician. If you go back and look at some of the diplomatic cables released several months ago by Wikileaks, you would know that Netanyahu and Lieberman have made much worse comments about Obama and Biden and done so repeatedly. This is one of those rare occasions where I questions the editorial decision to keep posting these stories about a non-issue.

16

 Nov 10, 2011 at 07:33 AM qazxc Says:

To all you chachomim knocking Obama - Please explain why the 'anti-Israel' Obama put an end to the Security Council of the United Nazis granting full recognition to the Palestinians? Why didn't he stop the transfer of the bunker buster bombs to Israel (which he could have done, as did G.W. Bush)?

And you dopes are forgetting how Bibi came to be the subject of their (meant to be) private conversation.

Sarkozy complained about Bibi being a liar (when did that become insulting to a politician?) in response to Obama's chastisement for France's vote in favor of Palestinian membership in UNESCO.

Has it occurred to any of you that disagreeing with Bibi and Likud positions does not make one anti-Israel. In fact, due to Israel's ridiculous system of political horse trading, Bibi, like all who have occupied the office since the sixties (sorry, I don't have exact dates handy), was not elected by a majority of Israelis.

Most Israelis disagree with Bibi. A survey of Israelis might also show that most Israelis agree with Sarkozy's assessment of Bibi.

I don't support Obama because of his domestic policies and his botched attempts to clean up the economic mess left by the Bush administration's determination to fight two wars while cutting taxes on the wealthiest Americans. I also disagree with him on many foreign affairs decisions but when it comes to Israel the only times he has been critical of Israel has been in instances in which Bush, Clinton, Bush and Reagan also would have criticized them.

17

 Nov 10, 2011 at 08:07 AM Knockyankel Says:

Reply to #10  
shredready Says:

because he hates working with bibi

big deal,

not liking to work with one Jew foes not make one a Jew hater

also bibi sometimes shows him up, and he does not like that

nothing to do with not liking Israel or Jews

But hating another Jew like you do does make someone a Jew Hater

18

 Nov 10, 2011 at 08:21 AM Insider Says:

Freeing Jonathan Pollard would be a positive proactive pro-Jewish act on part of Obama.

19

 Nov 10, 2011 at 09:35 AM MidwesternGuy Says:

Sh'tika K'hoda'ah.

Obama didn't argue, and everyone knows it, even the liberal Reuters organization that this. People can dismiss it, or call it just a clash of personalities, and I would strongly disagree. But to deny that Obama totally agreed is simply ridiculous.

And for Sherry, I'll translate the above which is a Jewish dictum that means "silence is tantamount to agreement." It's frequently used in matters of Jewish law. Obama didn't argue, which indicates that he agreed.

20

 Nov 10, 2011 at 10:25 AM qazxc Says:

Reply to #19  
MidwesternGuy Says:

Sh'tika K'hoda'ah.

Obama didn't argue, and everyone knows it, even the liberal Reuters organization that this. People can dismiss it, or call it just a clash of personalities, and I would strongly disagree. But to deny that Obama totally agreed is simply ridiculous.

And for Sherry, I'll translate the above which is a Jewish dictum that means "silence is tantamount to agreement." It's frequently used in matters of Jewish law. Obama didn't argue, which indicates that he agreed.

Agreeing that Bibi is a liar does not make one anti-Israel any more than calling Nixon a liar, Clinton a womanizer or Carter a failure makes one anti-American.

Many gedolai yisroel were also against pushing the resettlement of Judea and Samaria in the face of American opposition. Were they also anti-Semites?

21

 Nov 10, 2011 at 11:16 AM SherryTheNoahide Says:

Reply to #19  
MidwesternGuy Says:

Sh'tika K'hoda'ah.

Obama didn't argue, and everyone knows it, even the liberal Reuters organization that this. People can dismiss it, or call it just a clash of personalities, and I would strongly disagree. But to deny that Obama totally agreed is simply ridiculous.

And for Sherry, I'll translate the above which is a Jewish dictum that means "silence is tantamount to agreement." It's frequently used in matters of Jewish law. Obama didn't argue, which indicates that he agreed.

Thanks Midwestern for your reply, but I still disagree that Obama handled the situation somehow "wrong". How?! He was put on the spot by another Head of State who called Bibi a liar! The MOST Obama said back to that was... "Well, you may not like him... but I gotta work with him everyday."

Now what a statement like that says to me is: "No, I'm not fond of him either. But unlike you... I've gotta work w\the guy every day."

And yes... he was complaining about that! (lol) But what's so wrong with that?!

Are you trying to tell me that YOU yourself have absolutely zero problems with Bibi as well?!

And why is our President not allowed to have an opinion?!

This whole thing is a stupid non-story, to distract from the pathetic GOP primary field, which is horribly embarrassing.

If you're thinking about voting for a Republican in 2012... I would worry about THEM a lot more!

22

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