All the teeth-gnashing and pearl-clutching from the usual suspects after French President Sarkozy and President Obama were overheard on an open mic complaining about how difficult Bibi Netanyahu is to work with and how Sarkozy doesn’t trust him, misses the point. Here’s what the knee-jerk Bibi defenders don’t want to discuss- were Sarkozy and Obama right? Is Bibi untrustworthy when it comes to the peace process? Is he difficult to work with? Yes on both counts and everyone knows it.
When a video of Bibi from 2001 surfaced last year which showed Bibi talking to settlers about how he sabotaged the Oslo process and used it to grab more land (while bragging he could control the US), the US media obediently didn’t report on it despite it’s clear relevance to what is happening today with respect to Mideast peace (see Daniel Levy’s take on this, here). Had it been a leader of any nation other than Israel, they would have reported on it. So naturally, when the incident with Sarkozy and Obama came up, the MSM didn’t spend any time providing any context for why, perhaps, the two world leaders found Bibi impossible to deal with.
Never mind that staunch Israel supporter, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has made no secret of her anger and lack of trust in Netanyahu vis-a-vis the peace process these days, having been reported as saying she “does not believe a word Netanyahu says.” Never mind that Republican hawk and former Obama Secretary of Defense Gates called Netanyahu “ungrateful” because of how much the US does for Israel all the while Israel responds by poking the administration in the eye. And never mind that Netanyahu has built his entire political career on an unwavering opposition to the two state solution. Nope, it’s all about that mean Barack Obama who hates Israel and loves the Palestinians.
The other question everyone should be asking is, “given Europe, the US etc. clearly realize that Bibi isn’t interested in peace, why do they keep enabling his settlement expansion and intransigence all the while they punish the Palestinians for simply daring to use diplomacy to advance their cause?” See, that’s the thing. It’s all well and good that Obama, Sarkozy etc. realize Bibi is a louse, but then when they all run around and grab their ankles and undermine the peace process by caving to every Israeli whim (for example, at the United Nations) while actually rewarding Israel for things like ongoing settlement activity etc., then they really are just as bad as Bibi is.