By Jamal Kanj
I have followed the megalomaniac performance of Benjamin Netanyahu since he was Israel’s representative at the UN in the mid-1980s. I watched with keen interest his debates, and must confess I was taken by his chutzpa. Netanyahu has special abilities to twist facts without blinking an eye: he can lie with a smile.
This is not my subjective opinion. It is a fact attested by almost every other international political figure he has met over the years. The Zionist thought police – masqueraded as international media – which succeeded in intimidating aspiring politicians, failed to inhibit leaders from expressing their opinion in private meetings or after retirement.
In his book The Truth About Camp David, Joe Lockhart, former White House spokesman for Bill Clinton, described Netanyahu as “one of the most obnoxious individuals, just a liar and a cheat. He could open his mouth and you could have no confidence that anything that came of it was the truth.”
According to David Miller, following Clinton’s first meeting with Netanyahu in 1996, the president got so agitated that he exploded: “Who the f… does he think he is?”
Less than a year later and following a botched assassination attempt on a Palestinian leader in Jordan, Netanyahu lied about the Israeli role in the plot leading Clinton to tell his staff “I cannot deal with this man. He is impossible.”
In September 2002, Netanyahu brought his “under oath” lies to a US House of Representative Committee to promote the US invasion of Iraq. “There is no question whatsoever that Saddam is seeking and is working and is advancing towards the development of nuclear weapons – no question whatsoever.”
A lie which gave birth to the Islamic State today, costing the US close to 5,000 young lives, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis and over a trillion dollars, and still counting.
In 2011 the famous, but supposed to be off the microphone private remark by then French president Nicolas Sarkozy telling US President Barack Obama, “I cannot stand him. He is a liar.” The more politically correct Obama replied: “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!”
A short while before that outburst, it was leaked that German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a cabinet meeting “every word that leaves Netanyahu’s mouth is a lie.”
On personal anecdote, he once told a reporter the story of King Hezekiah, whose “name was Netanyahu. That’s my last name.”
Mileikowsky, the real name, was changed to Netanyahu in 1920 when his father immigrated to Palestine. A name he changed himself once again to Ben Nitay in the 1970s when he worked in the US – this time, to make it easier for Americans to pronounce it. This is akin of someone adopting the name Geronimo to claim Native American lineage.
After the Oslo Accord, he was caught on video outlining his plans to defraud the world.
The agreement didn’t include withdrawal from Israeli military sites and since none was identified by the accord, “as far as I’m concerned, the Jordan valley is a defined military site”, he said with a smirk, adding this will end the peace process.
Former US defence secretary Robert Gates wrote in his memoir: “I was offended by his glibness and his criticism of US policy, his arrogance and outlandish ambition – and I told national security adviser Brent Scowcroft that Bibi (Netanyahu) ought not be allowed back on White House grounds.”
Netanyahu’s chutzpa was highlighted last month when he admonished his benefactor, the US government, telling ambassador Dan Shapiro “not to ever second-guess me anymore”.
Israeli writer Uri Avenery summed up Netanyahu’s pathological lying habits best: “Some do so only when necessary, some do it often, some, like Netanyahu, do it as a rule.”
It is also the rule that Israeli lies continue to go unchallenged in Western media.
- Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.