White House Tries to Limit Netanyahu 'Liar' Damage

Wednesday, 09 Nov 2011 06:15 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
WASHINGTON — The White House sought 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.

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.


© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Dr. Anthony Fauci: Ebola Can Be Weaponized

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 20:31 PM

Recalling that the Soviet Union stockpiled hemorrhagic fevers during the Cold War, a federal health official warned Tues . . .

Lindsey Graham: 'Mythical' Arab Army Cannot Defeat ISIS

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 20:21 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham says he is skeptical that an Arab army will be put together to battle Islamic State (ISIS) forces on . . .

Dr. Kent Brantly to Congress: Ebola Is a 'Fire Straight From the Pit of Hell'

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 20:11 PM

America's response to the Ebola virus epidemic ravaging Africa was too little, too late, according to Dr. Kent Brantly,  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved