ADL 'Deeply Disappointed' by Sarkozy-Obama Exchange on Netanyahu

Abraham Foxman: Obama Administration should do everything it can to reassure Israel that its relationship with the U.S. remains on sure footing.

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The Anti-Defamation League said it was "deeply disappointed" by the private exchange between French President Nicholas Sarkozy and U.S. President Barack Obama in which the two leaders were overheard making critical remarks Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sarkozy, unaware last Thursday that a microphone in the meeting room at the G20 summit at Cannes was on, was heard calling Netanyahu "a liar" in what he thought was a private conversation with Obama. "I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama, who was also unaware that the microphone had been turned on and was being monitored by reporters via the headsets used for simultaneous translations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House, May 20, 2011.Credit: GPO

"You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you," Obama replied, according to wire service reports.

"We are deeply disappointed and saddened by this decidedly un-Presidential exchange between Presidents Sarkozy and Obama," Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said in a statement. "President Obamas response to Mr. Sarkozy implies that he agrees with the French leader.

"In light of the revelations here, we hope that the Obama Administration will do everything it can to reassure Israel that the relationship remains on a sure footing and to reinvigorate the trust between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, which clearly is not what it should be," Foxman continued.

"What is sad is that we now have to worry to what extent these private views inform foreign policy decisions of the U.S. and France - two singularly important players in the peace process."

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