Netanyahu has some strong qualities, such as determination, intelligence, creativity, and more, otherwise he would not have become leader of his party TWICE, even after failing the first time around. The one quality which he is very good at is Public Relations; he can put good spin on things. This may be his great talent, and he tried to develop it by getting his graduate degree (masters) in Marketing. But Netanyahu has one great weakness which overwhelms his better sides: Political Cowardice. Netanyahu may come up with a productive idea, such as in his Bar Ilan speech where he accepted a Palestinian state, but then opponents, and political dangers, rear their threatening heads, and Bibi withdraws into inaction. This also requires him to lie to friends and enemies alike about his reasons. What should he have done after Bar-Ilan? The first action should have been to go to his party Likud and try to convince them of the need. After all, the party ran for elections on a platform of "no Palestinian state, only autonomy". That might have led to a Likud revolt, a breakup of the party, etc. Netanyahu found a way out: Likud never debated the speech! Another appropriate action would have been to bring the speech issue before the Cabinet, to debate and accept the idea as policy. Well, the Cabinet never debated, so Lieberman could propose in the UN a different policy...you get the idea. Netanyahu refrains from getting into any "danger", so he tells the US he cannot take steps or his government will fall. He was not able even to pressure Shas to accept US unwritten, but crazily large inducements, military, financial and political, in order to extend the partial freeze on settlement construction for THREE miserable months. (Shas insisted on WRITTEN promises, which the US could not give for moral/legal reasons.) This cowardice is the essence of Netanyahu's tragedy, a talented man, who should be a leader in industry perhaps, but not in a political system which has so many opponents.
from the article: Report: Sarkozy told Obama he 'can't bear' Netanyahu the 'liar'