Barack Obama is not a huge fan of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In 2011 Obama reportedly whined to then French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, “You’re tired of him; what about me? I have to deal with him every day.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lectures Barack Obama in the Oval Office on the dangers facing Israel back in May 2011.
This weekend Barack Obama bemoaned Benjamin Netanyahu’s popularity, saying his approval numbers will make it difficult for Israel to agree to compromise with the Hamas-Fatah Palestinian government.
Israel National News reported:
U.S. President Barack Obama opined in a New York Times interview that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is too popular at the moment to make territorial compromises with the Palestinian Authority.
Asked whether he should be more vigorous in pressing Netanyahu, and the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, to reach a land-for-peace deal, Obama said that this has to start with them. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s “poll numbers are a lot higher than mine” and “were greatly boosted by the war in Gaza,” Obama said. “And so if he doesn’t feel some internal pressure, then it’s hard to see him being able to make some very difficult compromises, including taking on the settler movement. That’s a tough thing to do.
With respect to Abu Mazen, it’s a slightly different problem. In some ways, Bibi is too strong [and] in some ways Abu Mazen is too weak to bring them together and make the kinds of bold decisions that Sadat or Begin or Rabin were willing to make. It’s going to require leadership among both the Palestinians and the Israelis to look beyond tomorrow. … And that’s the hardest thing for politicians to do is to take the long view on things.”