Open Thread: Could Obama's Comments Damage U.S.-Israeli Relations?

When microphones were accidentally left on following a G20 meeting, they picked up a private conversation between President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy during which Sarkozy muttered he "can't stand" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to which Obama replied, "You're fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day!"

Could Obama's disparaging remark hurt U.S. relations with Israel? Read more about their conversation after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

After the G20 press conference, Obama and Sarkozy reportedly exited to a separate room for a private discussion. According to YNET News, the discussion began with Obama reprimanding Sarkozy for not warning him France was voting in favor of Palestinian membership in UNESCO, despite strong American opposition.

The discussion was meant to stay private, in accordance with French media standards and reports that journalists who were present were asked to agree not to publish the sensitive comments.

Sarkozy's office, the White House, and Netanyahu's spokesman all made no comment on the remarks, but they could still complicate relations with Israel and efforts toward Middle East peace.

Do you think Obama's comment will hurt U.S.-Israeli relations? Or will it be brushed aside by the media?

NB Staff
NB Staff