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Technical Glitch Lets Reporters Eavesdrop On Obama, Sarkozy

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the how-all-government-interactions-should-be dept.

The Media 411

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that a technical glitch allowed reporters to listen in on a private conversation between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama, made in a backroom meeting at the G20 summit, treating listeners to a rare insight into the importance of personal relationships in international politics. 'I can't stand him any more,' said Mr. Sarkozy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 'He's a liar.' Mr. Obama replied: 'You're sick of him. I have to deal with him every day!' According to Reuters, the two presidents were apparently 'unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.' The reporters made 'a group decision... not to report the conversation as it was considered private and off-the-record,' but Arrets Sur Images, a French website that covers current affairs, got wind of the exchange and broke the story."

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411 comments

2 people agreeing is news? (4, Informative)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992458)

2 people agree the another is an ass. What is the news?

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (3, Funny)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992492)

Oh wait its the Israeli guy their complaining about? Oh shit that is news... Never had a -5 before...

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (1, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992744)

Agreeing he's an ass is different than an unchallenged assertion a foreign leader is a liar. That's potentially very serious. What's he lying about? Was he lying when he said didn't like frog legs for dinner, or lying when he said he wouldn't build more settlements?

Just because they think he's an ass doesn't mean their policy goals don't align. Charles De Gaul worked very hard to be a major PITA for the allies, but that was what he needed to do.

This is bad from both sides of the political spectrum too, to the left, if he's a liar, why are we making agreements with him that he won't follow? And to the right, why are we not standing up for our ally? This is going to send them in wonderful circles because everyone hates the French, (believe me, I'm canadian we *really* hate the French), but Israels status is more... ambiguous.

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (4, Insightful)

Blymie (231220) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992824)

I'm Canadian too, and I have no idea what you mean when you say "We really hate the French".

Perhaps you shouldn't speak for a whole nation, when you're merely speaking for yourself, or your peer group?

I grew up in Southern Ontario, in a small community without a single Quebecer or French person around for hundreds of miles. I now live in Quebec, and (clearly) have no problem with "the french". I moved here because I live in the Capital region, and I can get an acre of land, 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa, surrounded by farmland, for 1/2 the price of a home on the Ontario side!

I do have issues with *some* french people, but I also have issues with *some* people from a broad spectrum of society.

I think what you really hate are 1) mostly quebec politicians and 2) dumbasses that happen to be french.

Suck it up buddy. #1 and #2 exist in every culture group, and language group, and genetic group, worldwide. ;)

   

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992880)

Having known quite a few Canadians (mostly from the west) they don't really hate their "french" countrymen so much as find them amusingly ridiculous. But maybe that is how Canadians hate, who knows.

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992910)

It's my understanding that if a Canadian hates you, you mysteriously end up in the middle of an Ice Hockey brawl with no protective gear.

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (4, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992982)

Hell I am French Canadian and even *I* hate French Canadians... which is why I live in Costa Rica.

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (2)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#37993102)

This, I'm from western Canada and am seriously thinking about moving to Quebec. Better weather, cheaper real-estate, cuter girls, better food, nicer architecture.

Of course, I'd have to learn better language than my current cereal-box grade french.

Quite a few folks here have a fairly strong dislike for quebec... They have probably never been there, though, so it's hardly an informed decision.

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (2)

246o1 (914193) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992938)

Agreeing he's an ass is different than an unchallenged assertion a foreign leader is a liar. That's potentially very serious. What's he lying about? Was he lying when he said didn't like frog legs for dinner, or lying when he said he wouldn't build more settlements?

The second one, if you have read any news.

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (1, Interesting)

Jibekn (1975348) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992978)

Canadian here as well (born and raised in BC) and I'de take a job in France in a heartbeat, I love their culture and their socialist ways. Please do us all a favor and never speak for another human, ever.

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (3, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992958)

The jews are involved so obviously this is an anti-semetic scandal tantamount to the Holocaust, and both Obama and Sarkozy will be immediately impeached. On the other hand, Helen Thomas must be chuckling to herself.

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (1)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992964)

Apparently, everybody is supposed to love and support Israel. At least if you are a US politician.

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37993066)

If you're anyone else you're supposed to abuse and murder their citizens. As usual.

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37993014)

Everyone in a peace-respecting, legitimate country hates that person.

Re:2 people agreeing is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37993058)

All three have nuclear weapons.

Well.... (4, Funny)

theVarangian (1948970) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992460)

Fox News will have a fair and balanced field day with this.

Re:Well.... (5, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992538)

Other news organizations conspire to hide what happened, Fox will delight in showing what happened.

Bias all around. Did you expect anything else?

Until reality sets in (2)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992842)

Fox news has made hardly any mention of it.

Re:Until reality sets in (1)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992968)

Re:Until reality sets in (2)

jfengel (409917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37993072)

But it isn't the "Obama hates Israel"-fest one tends to associate with Fox News. How unexpectedly civil of them. But we'll see if that continues.

Re:Well.... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992904)

You prefer the news orgs that chose not to report news because it was embarrassing to a politician they like? Doesn't that scare you a bit?

Re:Well.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992926)

Bias all around. Did you expect anything else?

No not really, to me Fox News is an endless source of a amusement so at least I have something to laugh about.

more leaks is good (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992464)

None of what these people do should be secret. They shouldn't be allowed anywhere without a number of cameras and microphones on them always and everything should always be transmitted out to the public.

Re:more leaks is good (1)

Foxhoundz (2015516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992484)

You *really* wouldn't want to see how the sausage is made my friend. Politics, specifically foreign policy, is a dirty that sometimes needs to be done in private.

Re:more leaks is good (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992622)

I think people are tired of constantly getting the sausage. They should stop eating it.

Re:more leaks is good (0)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992660)

Yeah, let them have cake instead, right?

Re:more leaks is good (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992700)

I was speaking metaphorically, but at least I used my own words. You are borrowing yours and they don't even fit the here.

Re:more leaks is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992786)

Well then it's time to move to Mars and star over again, eh? Leave "this rock" and its evil ways... LOL

Re:more leaks is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37993006)

Politics, specifically foreign policy, is a dirty that sometimes needs to be done in private.

That is exactly why politics should never be done in private.

If you need to do it in private you're doing something wrong.

Re:more leaks is good (1)

theVarangian (1948970) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992490)

None of what these people do should be secret. They shouldn't be allowed anywhere without a number of cameras and microphones on them always and everything should always be transmitted out to the public.

If it's all the same to you I'd like to skip some parts... like for example their trips to the toilet.

Re:more leaks is good (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992564)

No, everything has to be in public. It should be their 'sacrifice' - no privacy while in office.

Re:more leaks is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992804)

No, everything has to be in public. It should be their 'sacrifice' - no privacy while in office.

So your suggestion is that we don't treat them with human dignity, yet we have the right to demand that they act like humans in return?

Re:more leaks is good (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992860)

NO, they are not treating people they are supposed to be serving with any dignity.

It's time to return the favor.

Do NOT want to hear Obama in bed (0)

Quila (201335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992582)

More specifically, I don't want to hear Michelle during any - uh - marital affairs.

It could turn me off sex for years. I might need counseling. Oh no, just the thought right now is... ewwwww

Re:Do NOT want to hear Obama in bed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992854)

Someone reading Slashdot has sex? *boggle*
I call shenanigans!

Everyone knows the closest thing to sex a nerd gets is smooching their hand-built computer in their mother's basement! (and possibly a zap if they didn't ground properly) :P

Cameras everywhere idea requires them *everywhere* (1)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992732)

If it's all the same to you I'd like to skip some parts... like for example their trips to the toilet.

I hope you realise that any such toilet exception would lead to the bulk of the G20 summit being conducted in the mens toilets. Leaving Germany, Brazil, Argentina and Australia to strike up a bizarre alliance in the women's toilet.

Re:Cameras everywhere idea requires them *everywhe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992916)

Angela Merkel is a woman?!

Re:more leaks is good (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992592)

I wholeheartedly agree. In theory.

In practice, getting things done is probably incompatible with continuously being on the air.

Re:more leaks is good (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37993090)

Diplomacy often requires tact, but just as often requires that a measure of privacy be afforded for negotiations. Can you imagine attempting to negotiate changes to your mortgage on the sidewalk? Can you imagine negotiating some difficult decision with your spouse in front of your entire extended family?

Re:more leaks is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992634)

IN OTHER NEWS! Obama Scratches left nut but not his right nut. Itchy ball? or secret communique to his handlers? We ask the experts tonight at 11.

Re:more leaks is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992836)

This so much.

Government work was never, ever, supposed to be private.
Governments were elected to make a central authority that answers to the people and enacts their will using collective resources gathered from everyone that were also agreed upon by everyone. (tax, essentially)

Now?
They have twisted and bent their position so much that it has lost all meaning now. All these stealth meetings, steal research, spying on citizens, back stabbery and countless other things.
Every single thing should be on record and accounted for, every spoken word, every single hand shake.
Taxing everything, not taxing the things they should be taxing, corruption, being paid off. Corrupt Justice, lax laws, terrible lawyers using loose wording on documents to push cases towards things they aren't, laws capable of destroying entire lives EVEN IF FOUND INNOCENT.

I wouldn't hesitate to wipe every single one of them off the face of the planet. Painfully.
They don't deserve to live in the now 7 billion strong race we have going. Admittedly that number would drop considerably with all of those cancers of society gone, at least a billion or two.
Fuck this world. Seriously. Sickens me that these people are allowed to exist.

Re:more leaks is good (4, Interesting)

firewrought (36952) | more than 2 years ago | (#37993002)

None of what these people do should be secret. They shouldn't be allowed anywhere without a number of cameras and microphones on them always and everything should always be transmitted out to the public.

It becomes impossible to have effective negotiations if each side must worry about how every sentence will sound to their constituencies. Americans would have flipped had they known that Kennedy agreed to remove some obsolete missile installations in Italy and Turkey to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis [wikipedia.org], yet by doing so he avoided the very real possibility of nuclear holocaust. Just a thought...

Re:more leaks is good (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37993106)

Americans would have flipped?

  Americans would get their chance every 4 years anyway, but during the 4 year period (and we are talking about POTUS and his 4 years, but this should apply to all members of government) everything would be open and on the record.

Glitch? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992468)

... or espionage?

Journalism becomes espionage when leaders expect privacy and technology is applied to eavesdrop.

Re:Glitch? (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992522)

Journalism becomes espionage when leaders expect privacy and technology is applied to eavesdrop.

Journalism becomes nothing but PR when journalists don't report a story because they overheard something that 'was considered private and off-the-record'.

Re:Glitch? (5, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992782)

Journalism becomes nothing but PR when journalists don't report a story because they overheard something that 'was considered private and off-the-record'.

Disagree strongly, and I have worked as a journalist. A journalist is not a spy. Also, a journalist has a duty to determine what is news and what is simply information that has not been publicly disclosed. I'm sure there are lots of people who would like to know where Nancy Pelosi is on her menstrual cycle every time she makes a speech of votes in Congress, but this type of information simply isn't "fit to print," as the New York Times motto goes.

And speaking of the Times, here is a passage from that paper's journalistic ethics policy: [nytco.com]

27. Staff members and others on assignment for us must obey the law in the gathering of news. They may not break into buildings, homes, apartments or offices. They may not purloin data, documents or other property, including such electronic property as databases and e-mail or voice-mail messages. They may not tap telephones, invade computer files or otherwise eavesdrop electronically on news sources. In the case of government orders or court directives to disclose a confidential source, journalists will consult with the newsroom management and the legal department on the application of this paragraph.

(emphasis mine)

Trust me, you are far better off when responsible journalists develop sources in a fair, honest, professional manner, rather than resorting to tabloid tactics. A journalist who blasts the slightest gaffe in 72-point headlines will quickly cease to hear anything at all.

It's like the beat cop who hauls everybody down to the precinct for the slightest infraction, versus the one who lets folks slide for the occasional open container or vandalism charge. Of the two, the one with the "zero tolerance policy" is going to have a much tougher time doing his job when something really important comes along.

Re:Glitch? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37993026)

"What someone doesn't want you to publish is journalism; all else is publicity. "

Congrats on outing yourself as a hack. Hope it was worth it.

Nice strawmen, btw.

Re:Glitch? (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#37993120)

"What someone doesn't want you to publish is journalism; all else is publicity. "

I'll bet Netanyahu very much appreciated that little exchange being published. Cui bono? I'll give you a hint, it isn't us.

Re:Glitch? (4, Informative)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992992)

The Reporters were told not to turn their headsets on until the show began. (Probably a bit silly in that Sarkosky/Obama should have turned their microphones off until they wished to be heard). As the conversation was meant to be private it would have been a serious violation (as in crime under french law) for anyone in attendance that was a French journalist to report on the content of what they illicitly overheard. So a tabloid that wasn't in attendence caught wind of the conversation and reported it. I'd expect that criminal charges will be leveled against whoever peeped.

But the point here is that under French law (privacy of conversation) they COULDN'T report on what they overheard (or they could be arrested) because they broke the conference rule by turning on their headsets early.

That's the little bit you won't hear in any of the US reporting.

Just like the movie Naked Gun with Leslie Nieson (4, Funny)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992482)

In the movie, he was on a panel of some press conference and after he spoke, he forgot to take off his wireless microphone and headed off the mensroom whereby the sounds of his visit were broadcast over the PA system.

The scene [youtube.com]

It's safe for work.

Re:Just like the movie Naked Gun with Leslie Nieso (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992632)

We once had a college professor who did exactly the same during a break.
Hilarity ensued.

Re:Just like the movie Naked Gun with Leslie Nieso (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992724)

So did I. He wasn't a prof at UBC, was he?

Re:Just like the movie Naked Gun with Leslie Nieso (1)

Bo'Bob'O (95398) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992816)

I actually did exactly that to an actor once at my community college, opps.

It's very easy to forget to mute a channel on an audio mixer when you often have dozens of them.

Glitch? (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992536)

Was this a glitch or was this done on purpose, by the way?

Also this shows the insanity - Obama says Netanyahu is a liar (as if Obama or Sarcozy are not liars), and all of these liars are up there, dealing the cards of nations.

Do you trust any of these people? If you do - you are insane.

Obama will start a war with Iran. Any other candidate will except for two: Ron Paul (and Gary Johnson probably wouldn't either).

It's tiring that all these liars are on top and making all these decisions for nations and economies, etc. Take the power back from them.

Re:Glitch? (5, Informative)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992626)

The article isn't very clearly written, but it's Sarkozy accusing Netanyahu of being a liar. Edited for clarity:

Mr. Sarkozy: 'I can't stand him any more. He's a liar.'

Mr. Obama replied: 'You're sick of him. I have to deal with him every day!'

Re:Glitch? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992802)

There was no 'glitch' either.
The reporters were told, not to switch on their microphones until told so, but they obviously gave a fuck about that.

Re:Glitch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992648)

Correction: Obama won't prevent a war with Iran.

Re:Glitch? (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992752)

He will go into war with Iran. He won't allow Congress to declare anything, he will just go into that war.

He now believes he is a King, no less. He abuses the executive order (he is not using it, he is abusing it for things it is not meant to be used). He is completely corrupted by the power, he is a war monger.

Re:Glitch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992890)

... Just like every other US president.
We haven't officially declared war on anyone in decades.

Really, though, the king of abuse of war declaration and executive abuse must be handed to the previous president. Anyone without severe memory loss will remember how he took executive orders and signing statements to all new unheard of heights. Also, two wars for big daddy oil.

  An no, I won't give you any citations when 30 seconds of Googling will offer all the proof you need.

Re:Glitch? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37993138)

Not before the US election. He wouldn't risk alienating his core voters. He could claim humanitarian reasons for Libya and used NATO as a shield, but that wouldn't be possible with Iran. There's no humanitarian cause (at this time) and NATO won't risk a confrontation with Russia.

There's a much more plausible explanation: The US public are sick of wars and Obama can now put his opponents on the line. What would they do about Iran if they won? (If they say "nothing", then they lose the Jewish American vote - a very sizable bloc. If they say anything other than nothing, then they lose almost everyone else because there's too much war fatigue right now and no money to spend on such ventures. If they prevaricate, they lose the Tea Party vote because wars are expensive and the Tea Party wants a constitutional cap on total spending.)

Obama's forays into war had little to do with him thinking he was king. Every one of his ventures can be explained as tactical PR gestures for domestic consumption. In order to anticipate his next move, you have to stop and ask what PR gesture could he possibly want in an election year. By far the simplest explanation is that he wants to put his rivals into a spot where anything they say will alienate too large a percentage of voters for them to win.

His use of executive orders is interesting but nowhere near as bad as Bush using them to authorize assassination of Americans on US soil, nor as bad as Congress forbidding the US Government from meeting its international legal obligations vis a vis Gitmo. I'd argue that Congress, in ordering the President to commit a crime, has carried out a far worse crime than anything Obama has done. I'd also argue that Bush, using a signing statement to negate a law forbidding torture by declaring that the provisions of the law were to be ignored, again abused power on a massive scale.

(If you can use a signing statement to edit laws, not merely interpret them, then veto-proof margins can be unconstitutionally ignored. You don't veto the bill, you use a signing statement to say it doesn't apply. Further, even interpreting them is questionable. There's nothing to stop a President from using a signing statement to rewrite a bill completely from the ground up. It would take a while to write, but it could be done and therefore will eventually be done.)

I'm not saying Obama is innocent of abuse, merely that he's no worse than anyone else and that you should be careful to not ascribe him with motivations that obviously don't apply. Blame him for the right reasons, or the important points you make will be ignored by others.

Re:Glitch? (3, Insightful)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992750)

Was this a glitch or was this done on purpose, by the way?

It's politics - we'll never know!

The BBC article suggests that reporters were told not to plug headsets into the translation reception devices and, of course, did so anyway.

Another article (Dutch) suggests that reporters were given the devices and told that they would receive headsets later - some decided to plug in their own (didn't want to wait? didn't want to use other headphones? who knows).

Regardless, it was apparent that all of the reporters were getting the French translation of the discussion that took place (according to the Dutch article).

Which of course implies that not only were the microphones in that office open, but translators were active at that time to translate that which was discussed into French.

What actually transpired? Well, who cares, really.

At least two world leaders are now somewhat on the record as to their disdain of Netanyahu. On the other hand, that disdain doesn't matter. Berlusconi is still in office (for now, announced he's leaving in 2 weeks) despite having grossly insulted world leaders of pretty much every nation. If they can't even really deal with him, what hope would they have of dealing with the Israelis? If they even wanted to.

Re:Glitch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992986)

in french? can't believe an american speaking another language

So the website that leaks.. (2)

microbee (682094) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992548)

soon will lose its access to major credit cards right?

Re:So the website that leaks.. (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992624)

soon will lose its access to major credit cards right?

The American and French governments don't have that sort of influence. You're thinking of their corporate masters.

Oh, Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992552)

I guess they are both Nazi's now... /TongueInCheek

Israel is running out of allies... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992594)

We're only pretending to support them, but antisemitism is rising and we have a president who thinks his life would be a lot easier if Israel didn't exist. Guess our loyalty doesn't run very deep.

Re:Israel is running out of allies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992670)

We will see how deep our loyalties run next election.

Re:Israel is running out of allies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992682)

Too easy... 2 minutes later.

Your pet parasite is neither the embodiment of the Jewish people, nor the nation of Israel.

Re:Israel is running out of allies... (3, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992714)

There is a huge difference between being anti semetic and being anti zionist. The Palestinians being ethnically cleansed by Israel are also semetic. Sarkozy was not wrong (in this case).

Re:Israel is running out of allies... (1, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992790)

Ethnically cleansed my ass. They're jordanian, with a mix of egyptian and syrian.

Re:Israel is running out of allies... (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37993114)

The people of that region yes used to be residents of the nations in question at one time. That doesn't change the fact that they are ethnically Semitic. Apparently you are under the wrong assumption that Semitic = Jewish. It doesn't, in general Semitic means a descendant of Abraham and Arabs (almost all Palestinians are of Arab descent) are descendants of Abraham.

Now it's true that if you killed every Palestinian you wouldn't have wiped out an entire ethnic group, but ethnic cleansing is by definition trying to remove an entire ethnic group from a region. Genocide is the compete elimination of an ethnic group and the OP didn't say Israel was engaged in genocide, but is in fact arguing Israels (unspoken) intent is to cleanse Israel and the occupied territories of non-Jewish Arab's, hence the correct term ethnic cleansing.

The OP is also correct in that being anti-zionism is not Anti-Semitic because Palestinians are Semitic as well. To be a true anti-semitic you need to hate both Jews and Arabs. Otherwise you just hate one specific group of the Semitic ethnic group.

Re:Israel is running out of allies... (4, Insightful)

fusiongyro (55524) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992768)

I think it's possible to dislike their PM without wanting them destroyed. I disliked Bush, but it didn't make me unamerican.

Moreover, this is two politicians talking. Why do we assume that they were being honest with each other?

Re:Israel is running out of allies... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992794)

We're only pretending to support them, but antisemitism is rising and we have a president who thinks his life would be a lot easier if Israel didn't exist. Guess our loyalty doesn't run very deep.

Were you operating on the misconception that our 'loyalty' to any of our allies is particularly deep(or that of any of our allies to us)?

Re:Israel is running out of allies... (1)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992960)

antisemitism is rising

The Israeli government is not losing support because they are Jews. They are losing support because of their actions.

We have a President who thinks his life would be a lot easier if the Israeli government would stop pissing off the international community with shit like the settlements. Then he wouldn't have to tell his ambassadors to exercise their Security Council veto every time the Israeli government engages in an international faux pas.

Regarding your last point, however, I'm inclined to agree. Look at how quickly the US turned on Gaddafi. Our loyalty does not run deep at all. Not that we should have had any loyalty with Gaddafi to begin with...

Re:Israel is running out of allies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37993126)

Long live ISRAEL. Long live ZION.

They're all liars and they all suck (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992642)

It's just not polite to say it. Just last night they did this bit on House where the guy goes through a litany of truths about the guys fantasizing about having sex with the hot female doctor. Everybody knows it. It's just not polite to say it. Blah, blah, blah.

Huh, a lying Jew? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992658)

Who'd have guessed?

Nothing to hide, right? (1)

pedrop357 (681672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992720)

Surely, this is OK. They had nothing to hide and their conversation was taking place in a public place*, so all's fair.

Definition of "public place" tortured to extend to publically owned buildings as well as places where the public might be allowed.

Ha (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37992722)

President Obama should be fine with it, he does support warrantless wiretapping, that's essentially what heppend here.

Question (0, Flamebait)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992870)

Why does the president of the U.S. have to talk to the President of Israel literally EVERY DAY? We give them all that military aid and side on them with every issue. We cut out funding for the UN cultural agency just because they allow Palestine to join. And he STILL has to talk to their president every day?

Shouldn't he be more focused on the affairs of the US? I'm no isolationist, but why does he have to talk to the president of Israel every day? After a while, doesn't Israel have to become a viable nation that doesn't rely on the US for everything? I mean all they really have to do is stop building settlements so the international community will approve of them.

Re:Question (5, Interesting)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37993040)

No, Obama does not speak to him every day.

Do you know what "hyperbole" is? Do you know that "deal with" is not equivalent to "speak with"? Do you know that the Congress is the primary internal-facing Federal body in the US? Do you know that the President is the primary external-facing power in the US? Do you realize that foreign policy IS an affair of the US? Do you believe everything you read in a Slashdot summary, or for that matter, on the Internet at all?

I don't think you really understand how the presidency operates at all. Or journalists, or politics, or...

Was it really an accident? (1, Interesting)

MisplacedLonghorn (1284138) | more than 2 years ago | (#37992892)

What with all the complexities of statecraft, isn't it possible this was no accident? Perhaps it was meant as a bid to get Netanyahu's attention and subtly express French and US government positions on the Israel/Palestine question. Food for thought.

Nothing like........ (-1, Flamebait)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 2 years ago | (#37993000)

Nothing like a two-faced backstabbing politician. I am shocked, politicians not being straight forward and honest.

Of course, if we refer to Obama as a liar or two-faced or backstabbing, we'd be called a racist.

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