Ex Blair Aide: U.K. Believed Netanyahu Was Untrustworthy

In Alistair Campbell 1998 diary excerpts released by The Guardian, former communication's chief to the British premier said U.K. officials called Netanyahu an 'armor-plated bullshitter.'

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair did not trust then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a former Blair aide was quoted as writing in his newly published diaries on Thursday, adding that the former premier also suspected he was being recorded by Israeli security during a visit to the country.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Middle East Quartet Envoy Tony Blair on June 08, 2010 in Jerusalem, Israel.Credit: GPO

In the second volume of his diaries, former Downing Street communications chief Alistair Campbell wrote candidly of the British view of then, and current, Prime Minister Netanyahu, saying Foreign Office officials had nicknamed Netanyahu "the armor-plated bullshitter."

Campbell goes on to say that this view was not held exclusively by U.K. officials, adding that former premier, and current Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Blair during a meeting that he was "was pessimistic because Bibi was a total bullshitter."

In fact, Campbell states in diary excerpts quoted in the Guardian, the former British PM was so wary of Netanyahu that he believed that recording devices were planted in his vehicle during the 1998 visit to Israel.

"The three of us travelled back together, [Tony Blair] doing his little finger-whirl to indicate the assumption the car was bugged so we did the usual how well it had all gone blah," Campbell wrote.

Campbell also commented on former Blair fundraiser and Mideast envoy Lord Michael Levy, saying, according to the quotes in The Guardian regarding the same 1998 Israel visit, that Levy was "hiding behind [Derek] Plumbly [Middle East and North Africa director, FCO] and saying he was deliberately hiding."

"Then, as [Tony Blair] wound up, who should march straight up there and shake him by the hand and start making introductions but Michael. He was unbe-fu--ing-lievable," Campbell wrote.