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Netanyahu is a liar... but so are the leaders of America and the West

A media frenzy followed the publication of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's description of Benjamin Netanyahu as "a liar" during a private discussion with US President Barack Obama. The exchange took place shortly before a press conference with the two leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

The French president's comment revealed absolutely nothing new; there is something of a consensus, both inside and outside Israel, on Netanyahu's expertise in the ways and means of deception. Palestinians who over the years have been burned by Netanyahu's lies could provide a reference for his expertise.


What stands out is that Obama, who said nothing to dispel Sarkozy's description of the Israeli Prime Minister, complained that he was forced to deal with this deceitful Israeli leader on a daily basis.

We don't know if both Houses of the US Congress, whose members gave Netanyahu over sixty standing ovations during a speech filled with lies earlier this year, share Sarkozy's opinion. What is clear is that even if they do agree with the French President, they are still likely to repeat their obsequiousness the next time that Netanyahu stands before them. The current Congress is the most supportive of Israel in American history, and particularly of Netanyahu "who speaks English with an American accent", to the extent that it has adopted Israeli positions and diktats without discussion.

Obama, whose election created waves of optimism among Arabs and Muslims with his ethnic and cultural background, and fiery speeches, has become a puppet in Netanyahu's hands and, indeed, the greatest endorser of his lies. The US President has made himself public enemy number one for the Palestinians and the foremost obstacle to their ambitions of obtaining international recognition through their illusory state's membership of the United Nations and its agencies.

It was shameful for Obama to admonish his French counterpart for not consulting him and then opposing his position when France voted for Palestine's full membership of UNESCO. Despite being submissive to Netanyahu for what are said to be electoral reasons, Obama could have been expected to support the moral French stand if it had not been a public vote.

It is to be hoped that President Sarkozy, having expressed his views courageously regarding Netanyahu and his lies, will not put pressure on the Palestinian Authority and its president to return once again to the fruitless negotiating table facing a deceitful "partner for peace" who does not keep his word. Netanyahu is the head of a government considered to be the most extremely right-wing in Israel's extreme history and cannot be trusted to conclude a peace deal.

Logic dictates that the US and the West, specifically the leaders of the free world, ought to punish their deceitful Israeli ally for his lies rather than punish the victims of those lies, the Palestinian people. It is they who are besieged, beaten and deprived of their most basic rights to dignity and to a state. This is what the US threat to use the veto in the Security Council to prevent the recognition of a Palestinian State actually means. The freeze of all US financial assistance to UNESCO for accepting Palestine as a member is just the beginning. The whole UN structure is threatened by America's fit of pique.

Netanyahu will continue to lie and there will be those in Europe, the White House and the US Congress who believe him, confirming the hypocrisy and deceit in the Western psyche when it comes to matters Israeli and Palestinian.

This could be in part due to the fact that in Netanyahu they see a kindred spirit. For didn't President George W Bush lie about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Didn't Bill Clinton lie when he denied having "sexual relations" with Monica Lewinsky? Didn't former British Prime Minister and current Middle East Envoy, Tony Blair, lie when he spoke of a file confirming Saddam Hussein's ability to deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes?

Benjamin Netanyahu may well be "a liar", as Sarkozy claimed, but he is not alone on the world stage. The only difference is that he has had the courage to say it out loud for us all to hear, albeit unintentionally.

Source: Al Quds Al-Arabi

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