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Sarkozy overheard telling Obama that Netanyahu is a 'liar'

 
 
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2011 09:17 am
November 8, 2011
Sarkozy overheard telling Obama that Netanyahu is a 'liar'
By Alexandra Zavis and Edmund Sanders
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

JERUSALEM β€” The conversation was supposed to be private. But reports have surfaced that French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "liar" while chatting last week with President Obama.

Several French-speaking journalists, including ones from Reuters and the Associated Press, overheard the remark through headsets that were supposed to be used for simultaneous translation during a news conference on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Cannes, according to wire reports.

Thursday's exchange was first reported Monday by Arret Sur Images, a French website that analyzes media coverage.

Sarkozy was apparently not aware that his comments could be heard by reporters gathered in another room when he reportedly said of the Israeli leader: "I can't stand to see him anymore, he's a liar."

Obama, whose response was heard only through a French translation, was quoted as saying: "You are fed up with him, but me, I have to deal with him every day."

The comments are likely to cause embarrassment to both leaders as they try to revive stalled peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. There was no immediate comment Tuesday from Sarkozy's office, the White House or Netanyahu's office.

The media and general public in Israel greeted the news largely with a shrug and a few snickers. After some initial chatter on Israeli radio, the story was largely overshadowed by concerns over a report by a U.N. watchdog on Iran's nuclear program.

Because of previous disclosures by WikiLeaks, Israelis already knew that their prime minister was viewed skeptically by some Western leaders. The personality clash with Obama, in particular, has been heavily reported in Israel.

Among many conservative Israelis, the perceived animosity from Sarkozy and Obama toward Netanyahu has only bolstered his popularity, though critics have accused him of alienating Western allies.

The handful of journalists who overheard the comments told Arret Sur Images that French officials had handed out devices through which they would be able to hear the simultaneous translation of a news conference.

The officials did not immediately provide the devices' headsets to journalists, preventing them from hearing the translation of the private conversation that was going on in another room, according to the website. But it said several reporters used their own earphones to listen in on fragments of the exchange.

The journalists initially agreed not to report what they had heard because they realized they had "cheated," one of them told the site. But when reports of the conversation surfaced on French websites, some news organizations confirmed that it had taken place.

According to Arret Sur Images, the journalists also heard Obama criticize Sarkozy for not warning him that France would vote in favor of a Palestinian request for membership of UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency.

Obama was also reportedly heard asking the French president to try to persuade Palestinian leaders not to pursue membership of other U.N. agencies, because he would be required under U.S. law to withdraw funding for them.

Palestinian leaders have said that they won't be applying to join other U.N. organizations.

Alexandra Zavis and Edmund Sanders write for the Los Angeles Times. Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com. Zavis reported from Los Angeles and Sanders from Jerusalem.

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/11/08/129683/sarkozy-overheard-telling-obama.html#ixzz1dDniLYe4
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Type: Discussion • Score: 13 • Views: 4,482 • Replies: 95

 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2011 11:35 am
If this is what Sarko thinks, (and I happen to agree with him) why was it supposed to be a secret? Why can't he just come out and say it in public?
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2011 11:40 am
it's obvious that netanyahu is a liar because he's a politician
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2011 12:54 pm
It was obvious that Obama and Netanyahu dont like each other, but it will be more difficult for both sides to lie about this now. I think this event shows mostly yet again that Sarkozy is impulsive and not particularly politically talented. He should have never brought up the subject in this setting, but obviously he did not put his brain in gear before he put his mouth in motion (said to be a daily problem of Sarkozy's) . You never ever trust that the mic is off, you wait till you can not be overheard before engaging in sensitive truth telling.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2011 01:40 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
They're going to put WikiLeaks out of business if they can't learn to keep their secrets better.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2011 01:46 pm
Does anyone else think that this is a little fishy? In one sense it is hard to imagine that something so silly would be staged, but come on.

Who would say something like that in that context? After I give a speech I am saying "good job", or "I will see you soon" rather than bad mouthing colleagues. I badmouth colleagues over a beer while winding down.

This story doesn't make any sense. Could it possibly have been planned?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2011 01:49 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
This story doesn't make any sense. Could it possibly have been planned?
Almost certainly not, because it is well known that this is how Sarkozy behaves a lot of the time.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2011 03:18 pm
@maxdancona,
The context is that Obama was asking/taking to task Sarkozy for Frances support for Palestine joining a UN body. Sarkozy wasn't just venting off hand.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2011 03:24 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

The context is that Obama was asking/taking to task Sarkozy for Frances support for Palestine joining a UN body. Sarkozy wasn't just venting off hand.
good point, and Obama was also clearly willing to talk nasty about Netanyahu behind his back when he could not assure that the conversation was private.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2011 05:48 pm
Of course these guys have personal opinions of one another that should not be publicized. I guarantee you that there are any number of foreign leaders who think Obama is a pompous neophyte.

The point is that if you are a national leader, you don't voice these opinions when there is any chance they could be publicized.

Arrogant idiots both.

What's next the whispered revelation of strategic secrets in a public forum?

Yes, Obama was pressing Sarkozy to get in line on Palestine's bid to the UN, but that doesn't excuse his irresponsible behavior. Now the Palestinians can quote back to him his ill regard towards Bibi. This is the president of the United States, not a teenage girl!

Is it any wonder that there are reports that Israel plans on taking out Iranian nuke facilities without obtaining the blessing of the US government?

Damned arrogant neophyte!



InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2011 06:28 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Is it any wonder that there are reports that Israel plans on taking out Iranian nuke facilities without obtaining the blessing of the US government?

Damned arrogant neophyte!


Well it certainly isn't because of any personal views of Obama towards Netanyahu, your disdain for the former notwithstanding. The Israeli's are considering attacking Iran because Iran's nuclear program seriously threatens the former's hegemony in the region, and it would upset the status quo in the former's discrimination against and oppression of the Palestinian peoples. What's more, the Israelis would enjoy strong support from the US government's legislative branch which by and large supports the Israelis in their repression of the Palestinian peoples.
Cycloptichorn
 
  4  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2011 06:33 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Obama was right to say it, because Bibi IS a liar - and a fool. He deserves nothing but disdain from the nations who are forced to deal with his arrogance. I wish more leaders would publicly shun the man.

Not only that, but what did Obama reportedly say?

"You are fed up with him, but me, I have to deal with him every day."

Stop the presses, it's an international ******* emergency Rolling Eyes

You right wingers and your precious fee-fees, kills me every time.

Cycloptichorn
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2011 08:58 pm
@InfraBlue,
Please spare me your anti-Israel doggerel.

I'm really amazed that you were able to post an anti-Semetic rant without once mentioning the word "Zionist."

So you're all for Iran having nukes?

That will keep them damned Heebs in check!
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2011 09:04 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I've long thought that you have an extremely narrow perspective on events, but you've now proven it.

Whether or not Bibi is a liar, and a complete scumbag, the president of the United States needs to be adept enough not to reveal his opinion of him in public.

Give me a break. Separate yourself, for a moment, from your partisan zeal and you should acknowledge that no matter what the party of our president, he shouldn't be saying such things in a public forum.

But perhaps you think it would be good if Obama announced, during prime time, from the oval office that the PM of Israel is a liar.

Do you enjoy being a cog in the Democrat machine?
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2011 01:05 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Please spare me your anti-Israel doggerel.

I'm really amazed that you were able to post an anti-Semetic rant without once mentioning the word "Zionist."


Anti-current-Israel government, yes. Anti Bibi, yes. Antisemitic no. Unless any position other than complete blind support and assent to any Israeli poilcy is deemed "antisemitic".

And you're the guy that wrote "Heebs". But can't spell "semitic".

0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2011 01:49 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
So, in your erudite opinion, Israel's hegemony in its region (or are you denying that it enjoys a hegemony there at all?) isn't threatened by a potentially nuclear Iran, and the status quo in its conflict with the Palestinian peoples doesn't result in their repression of the latter; no, Israel is considering a strike on Iran because Obama said not very nice things about Netanyahu?

And you refer to my opinion as doggerel?

Yours is a case of a very serious disconnect with the reality of the asininity of your own opinion.

Aside from your all too predictable knee jerk reaction to my post (that the Israelis discriminate against and oppress the Palestinian peoples is a simple and plainly evident matter of fact, your emotionalism notwithstanding), by your vaunted reasoning skills I suppose that in your estimation the Israelis referring to themselves as Zionists amounts to self-hatred? See my assessment above concerning your mental state in regard to your opinions.

I'm for no one having nukes, including the Iranians and the Zionists.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2011 02:26 am
To be anti-Zionist and anti-Israel isn't necessarily anti-Semitic either. Zionism is predicated on the ideology that Palestine belongs to "the Jews" either because some of their ancestors had lived in that area millennia ago, and or, their god had granted them that land. The state of Israel was founded upon that ideology. For Israel to exist "for the Jews" it must necessarily discriminate against and oppress the non-Jews that dwell in that selfsame land. This necessarily repressive state (i.e. government and the regime behind it) must be dismantled and replaced with one that is egalitarian and pluralistic, and provides for the general welfare of all of its inhabitants regardless of ethnicity or religion.

To argue against the necessarily discriminatory and oppressive nature of Zionism is not anti-Semitic.

To argue for egalitarianism and pluralism in Israel/Palestine is not anti-Semitic.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2011 10:36 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:

Whether or not Bibi is a liar, and a complete scumbag, the president of the United States needs to be adept enough not to reveal his opinion of him in public.

Give me a break. Separate yourself, for a moment, from your partisan zeal and you should acknowledge that no matter what the party of our president, he shouldn't be saying such things in a public forum.


Why? The guy is a dick, he's ******* it up for his country AND for us. We owe Israel nothing and frankly we should cut off the billions of dollars of aid we send them (that they don't need) immediately.

I do think it would be a good thing for the US to announce that Bibi is a liar, a total fool, and we will have no further dealing with him or his country. You tell me - what's the downside?

Cycloptichorn
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2011 12:13 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Obama has made a point of "explaining" that the publicized coments were part of a discussion in which he was trying to persuade Sarkozy that the only possible solution for the Palestinian/Israeli problem was direct negotiations between the two sides.

Asssuming that's true and that he actually believes it, I'm sure he recognizes that expressing contempt for the leader of Israel could have a considerable effect on the willingness of Palestinians to negotiate.

The downside of cutting all ties with Israel?

It would, for Obama, be political suicide, so I guess I'm all in favor of it.

Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2011 12:16 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:


It would, for Obama, be political suicide, so I guess I'm all in favor of it.


Only because of the massive strength of the pro-Israel lobby here in America, funded by wealthy jews and evangelical christians alike. But in terms of ACTUAL damage to our country? There would be none whatsoever, and you know it.

The GOP candidates got into a real pickle during the debate the other night, when they called for ending all foreign aid - not realizing that this would include our #1 recipient, Israel.

Cycloptichorn
 

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