Earlier today, Barack Obama suggested that he would not quickly forget the Israeli Prime Minister’s pre-election remarks concerning the viability of a Palestinian state:
“We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership,” Obama said during an interview with The Huffington Post. “And so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region.”
As if there isn’t already a chaotic situation in the Middle East.
Without getting into what Bibi actually said, I think it’s pretty clear his comments before the election were intended to help himself get re-elected to a fourth term. Say what you will about the propriety of Netanyahu’s “successful 11th-hour grab for far-right voters“, but don’t lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day, it’s politics.
And no one should understand that better than, say, the President of the United States. Just over a month ago, he was making headlines of his own, after top political strategist David Axelrod revealed that Candidate Obama lied to the American people about his positions on same-sex marriage:
“I’m just not very good at bullshitting,” Obama told Axelrod, after an event where he stated his opposition to same-sex marriage.
Axelrod writes that he knew Obama was in favor of same-sex marriages during the first presidential campaign, even as Obama publicly said he only supported civil unions, not full marriages.
And this wasn’t just a one-time event:
As a candidate for president, Obama told Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church that marriage could only extend to heterosexual couples. “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman,” Obama said at the time. “Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”
So Obama didn’t just lie about his position on gay marriage; he lied about his supposedly-fundamental religious beliefs.
Like Bibi, Obama later tried to walk the extent of his opposition back, and no one was really surprised to see where Obama ended up, but the point is this: the President did what he had to do to get to where he is. Obama might not like where Netanyahu is (i.e. in office), but at the end of the day, they’re both playing the same game.