Jackson Diehl notes it “is not exactly a bombshell” that “[Israeli prime minister] Binyamin Netanyahu seems to have been the target of some ugly — if off the record — barbs from President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.”
"I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," Sarkozy said.
Obama, apparently agreeing with his French counterpart, responded: "You're fed up, but I have to deal with him every day."
Diehl concludes, however, that Netanyahu has been very accommodating to both the Americans and the French, especially in comparison to his Palestinian counterpart.
Elliott Abrams describes the exchange as “disgraceful.” “If this were only a matter of personal relations between Obama and Netanyahu, it could be left at that,” Abrams writes. “But it is far more consequential, for by that comment—and especially as it was made in private and can be interpreted as his actual view—President Obama has joined the chorus of assaults on the Jewish State. We only have one president at a time and they only have one prime minister. To treat the prime minister of Israel in this way is disgraceful.”
Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain blasted Obama on television yesterday for trash talking the Israelis. “I happen to be a great admirer of Prime Minister Netanyahu,” McCain said according to Politico. “I’ve known him for years, and Israel is under more pressure and probably in more danger than they’ve been since the ’67 war and that kind of comment is not only not helpful, but indicative of some of the policies towards Israel that this administration has been part of.”
And in a statement released this morning, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney states: “President Obama’s derisive remarks about Israel’s Prime Minister confirm what any observer would have gleaned from his public statements and actions toward our longstanding ally, Israel. At a moment when the Jewish state is isolated and under threat, we cannot have an American president who is disdainful of our special relationship with Israel. We have here yet another reason why we need new leadership in the White House.”