Larry Derfner writes: So now Sarkozy says Netanyahu is a “liar” and that he “can’t stand” him, and Obama moans that that’s nothing, he has “to deal with him every day.” Join the club, fellas. Tony Blair and his team considered Netanyahu an “armor-plated bullshitter,” according to his aide Alistair Campbell; Bill Clinton couldn’t stand him, and if it hadn’t been for the Holocaust, imagine what Angela Merkel would be saying about Netanyahu now.
Our Bibi is a piece of work. It’s not his right-wing politics; Sharon was right-wing, certainly in his first term, Shamir was right-wing, Begin was right-wing, and foreign leaders didn’t talk about any of them like they talk about Netanyahu. Some said Begin was stubborn and argumentative, Shamir was a brick wall (I don’t remember anybody badrapping Sharon personally) – but I don’t recall any world leader complaining that they were intolerable, that they were liars like they do about Netanyahu. And with the exception of Ehud Barak –a different sort of piece of work, even more arrogant than Netanyahu and a physically violent bully, but much less of a liar – no Israeli prime minister ever alienated his political allies at home like Netanyahu did in his first term. (Though it must be said that he’s gotten over that problem in his current term.)
What is it about this guy? Besides the lying, what is it that makes foreign statesmen, not to mention his opposition at home, find him intolerable – “revolting,” as I put it in an August 2005 Jerusalem Post column that looked at this question. To help answer it, I told a personal anecdote: [Continue reading…]