It's no secret that many foreign leaders find Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu difficult to get along with, even untrustworthy.
The latest is the president of France, Nicholas Sarkozy, who was apparently heard over an open mike speaking privately at the recent G20 summit in Cannes to President Barack Obama, who's had his own run-ins with the Israeli leader.
“I cannot stand him. He is a liar,” Sarkozy said, according to news reports, including one in Politico sourcing the French newspaper Le Monde. An apparently sympathetic Obama was reported to have replied, "You're sick of him -- but I have to deal with him every day."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has gotten so exasperated with Netanyahu that she recently phoned to chew him out and then leaked the story. Haaretz last month quoted German officials telling their Israeli counterparts that Merkel "does not believe a word (Netanyahu) says." That incident involved an announcement of new construction at an East Jerusalem settlement. It wasn't the first time.
Back in February she admonished him, "You haven't made a single step to advance peace," reported Haaretz, once again quoting German sources,
Bill Clinton also had his run-ins. One such incident was described by Dennis Ross in his memoir about his work as the top US Mideast negotiator.
Ross described a meeting in Washington with Netanyahu shortly after he became prime minister the first time in 1996. "In the meeting with President Clinton, Netanyahu was nearly insufferable, lecturing and telling us how to deal with the Arabs." Ross recounts that afterwards a frustrated President Clinton remarked, "He thinks he is the superpower and we are here to do whatever he requires." Ross added, "No one on our side disagreed with that assessment."
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