New York, NY, November 8, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today said it was deeply disappointed at a private conversation between French President Nicholas Sarkozy and President Barack Obama, in which the two leaders were reportedly overheard making disparaging remarks about the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to reports of their conversation at the G20 summit in Cannes, which was overheard by reporters via an open microphone, the French president said, "I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar." President Obama reportedly replied, "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We are deeply disappointed and saddened by this decidedly un-Presidential exchange between Presidents Sarkozy and Obama.
President Obama's 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.
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.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.