Netanyahu Tweets Clip of 2011 Obama Slapdown to Boost Campaign

Amy Teibel

(Bloomberg) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reviving his May 2011 slapdown of Barack Obama to try to attract more right-wing votes ahead of a tough election.

A video clip he tweeted on Thursday shows him lecturing then-President Obama at the White House on why the lines before the 1967 Middle East war couldn’t be a baseline for a future agreement with the Palestinians, as the U.S. leader had just proposed.

— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) March 28, 2019

“It’s not going to happen. Everybody knows it’s not going to happen. And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly it’s not going to happen,” Netanyahu told the U.S. president, who sat there face in hand, clenching the armrest of his chair. “Israel cannot go back to the 1967 lines because these lines are indefensible.”

The footage, featured in the 2016 PBS Frontline documentary, “Netanyahu at War,” shows Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, saying he’d never seen a foreign leader speak to the president like that. Then-White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley was quoted as calling Netanyahu’s performance ”outrageous.”

For the American-educated prime minister, who’s made his career taking a hard line against Israel’s enemies, the Oval Office talking-to was a prime example of his mettle. So, why not dredge it up in a contest where he’s running against a former military chief and nationalists have a range of parties to choose from?

“Netanyahu. Right-wing,” the clip ended. Just in case anyone had any doubt.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Teibel in Jerusalem at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at, Tarek El-Tablawy, Paul Abelsky

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