If you go to 9:00 or so of this video of President Obama meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu on September 30 at the White House, you will see some fairly excruciating moments in body language as the prime minister explains a thing or two to the president. Netanyahu’s legs are apart and his gut is spilling out as he gestures at Obama, who has all but assumed the fetal position. Obama seems to want to be anywhere else, like dealing with the government shutdown.
The screenshot above reminds us how much time Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid got from our president and vice president even when they were supposedly working to stop the government shutdown. And is reminiscent of Obama’s famous statement to Sarkozy, “You think you can’t stand him? I have to deal with him every day.”
DB: Can you talk about what former [French] President Sarkozy and [U.S. President] Obama (who seems to love meeting with Netanyahu) said about meeting with the guy?
MB: This was a fascinating and overlooked episode that upset the Israeli embassy in the U.S. It upset Netanyahu and Sarkozy. They [Sarkozy and Obama] were caught on open mike at the G-20. Sarkozy said to Obama, “I can’t stand Netanyahu. He’s a complete liar.” Obama said, “You think you can’t stand him? I have to deal with him every day.”
Obama wasn’t exaggerating. He’s had to meet with Netanyahu more times than any other foreign leader. Netanyahu is the Prime Minister of a country with about seven million, compared to the U.K. which is an international power with a special relationship with the U.S. When Netanyahu’s father died, Benzion Netanyahu, Obama issued an effusive press release praising this character who had himself called for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, made racist statement after racist statement about Arabs, calling them desert people who are primitive by nature.
When the father of David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the U.K. died, Obama issued no press release – nothing was said. It is clear what is going on here. He can’t stand him but must constantly meet with him. Netanyahu is back in the White House again to demand more sanctions against Iran from Obama.
This week, Obama must deploy endless resources, hours, to babysit Netanyahu. Obama should be called the Bibi sitter.