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Netanyahu Schools Obama in Leadership   May 20th, 2011
Ouch... Like the time Obama insulted Rep. Ryan, but this time there was a response       

 
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Today, President Obama was schooled in leadership by the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. This whole spectacle was kind of like when Obama insulted Rep. Paul Ryan except that Netanyahu didn't remain silent.

The video of the exchange is below, with Netanyahu's response starting at about 7:15. The first 7 minutes is Obama and there's really nothing notable about it... except if you spend 7 minutes listening to Obama it makes Netanyahu look even more impressive. But if you're short on time, just skip to 7:15.



Ouch!

Prime Minister Netanyahu essentially lectured Obama on the realities that Obama is either ignoring or doesn't care about.

In the space of 8 minutes, Netanyahu called Obama's proposal not genuine, not enduring, illusory, not realistic, indefensible, and destined to crash on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality. He also gave him a very succinct history lesson. Netanyahu did not pretend to accept any premise that he did not agree with--and said conclusively that Israel will not go back to 1967 borders, cannot negotiate with Hamas, and simply said "it's not going to happen" in regards to the Palestinian refugee situation. And he concluded--when he said that Obama was the leader of a great people--with a sequence of "praise" that was effectively a verbal slap in the face designed to shame President Obama in light of his speech yesterday.

Netanyahu did Israel proud today. He stood strong and did not shrink in representing his country. He did not apologize. Even in an environment where it might be politically more comfortable to beat around the bush and smooth out the differences in private, Netanyahu said what needed to be said directly to the leader of the free world (granted, one that "leads from behind").

I look forward to Netanyahu's address to Congress next Tuesday. I continue to hope Congress will be moved to reaffirm America's support for Israel. And I hope that in 2012 we will elect a president that so strongly and unapologetically represents the United States as Netanyahu represents Israel.

And that would be the kind of "change" I'm ready to "hope" for, and would be change I can believe in.



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