New book quotes the American president as expressing what he really thinks about the Prime Minister of close ally Israel.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama are not known to have had a good relationship, but the American president seems to have taken it a bit too far.
In a new book that was released Tuesday, Obama is quoted as expressing what he really thinks about Netanyahu during his 2012 presidential campaign.
According to the book, “Double Down,” Obama said that “We all know Bibi Netanyahu is a pain in the a**” when discussing the conflict between the Israelis and the Arabs.
“Double Down” was written by MSNBC correspondents Mark Halperin and John Heilemann and it reveals behind-the-scenes political stories from the American presidential race in 2012.
The quote about Netanyahu by Obama, which was reportedly made during a meeting between the President and his aides a year before the elections, is the only time Israel is mentioned in the book.
Relations between Obama and Netanyahu were strained during Obama’s first term, with supporters of Obama accusing Netanyahu of interfering in the U.S. election in favor of Obama’s rival, Mitt Romney. Supporters of Netanyahu, meanwhile, accused Obama of trying to keep Netanyahu from being reelected last January.
Days before the last Israeli elections, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, who is close to Obama, wrote that the President had said repeatedly that Israel does not know what its own best interests are.
Obama, according to Goldberg, had said that Netanyahu “is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation” every time he announces new construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
A month and a half before the Israeli elections, Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel criticized Netanyahu over what was perceived as his public support of Romney.
Emanuel had reportedly said during a closed session that “Netanyahu supported the wrong candidate in the U.S. elections and lost.”
Emanuel also said that the White House expects that Netanyahu’s treatment of President Barack Obama will be different and that Obama was not willing to accept “degrading treatment” by the Israeli Prime Minister.
During Obama’s first term, the White House was embarrassed when French media reported on a conversation between Obama and then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy about Netanyahu.
In that conversation, Sarkozy had said, “I cannot stand him. He is a liar.” Obama reportedly replied, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!” The two, who thought they were having a private conversation, did not know that their microphones were open and that reporters outside could hear what they were saying.
The White House would not deny or confirm the conversation with Sarkozy took place, but insisted Obama had a good relationship with the Israeli prime minister.