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Carney: Obama Relationship with Netanyahu “Functional”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today was restrained in describing the relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, calling the ties between the two “functional” and “candid,” terms that suggest the problems between the men are as bad as people suspect.

Carney’s description shows the White House is unwilling to try to portray as close two leaders who are well known not to like each other, even as they together make decisions about Iran’s nuclear program and Middle East peace that have broad consequences for both nations’ futures.

Jay Carney - Photo by Keith Koffler
It's a fully loaded relationship.

Obama and Netanyahu will meet Monday to talk about mainly about Iran. Netanyahu reportedly wants Obama to clarify Washington’s position on how far Iran can go before the United States would either attack Iran’s nukes or acquiesce in Israeli action.

In Washingtonspeak, which is carefully choreographed to depict reality without unduly upsetting people, “candid” means that the two disagree but without overt rancor. A “frank” relationships would be one where voices are raised.

“Functional” would suggest that Netanyahu and Obama can sit down in a room together and talk about serious matters even if they don’t particularly like each other.

Carney could have used a more positive term, like saying the relationship was “good” or “close,” neither of which apply, obviously. He could have even said something a bit more positive, like “a good working relationship,” which would indicate that though not friends, they can work together.

Carney also used a couple of descriptions that defy explanation, saying they have a “productive candid functional relationship” and that they have “a full relationship.”

That he uses such tortured phrasing is another hint the White House is struggling to come up with a way to describe the relationship that doesn’t indicate it’s a catastrophe.

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28 Responses to Carney: Obama Relationship with Netanyahu “Functional”

  1. I have a couple of ex-wives with whom I have, “frank” and “functional” relationships.

    The only persons that Obama seems to be able to relate to are those that have titles before their names such as; “Sheik”; “Emir”; “Sultan” or “Imam”. Anyone with the title of a democratically elected position gets snubbed. “Prime Minister”; “President” and the like are seemingly looked down upon, or their progeny joked about in public (see Sarkozy comment).

    It gives one pause to wonder what he has to call Mrs. Obama when they are in private, or what he requires her to call him. Let the jokes begin!

  2. This will probably be the most important meeting of PMNetanyahu and PrezObama ever had together.
    If the pundits are right, then this will be the offical informing of the POTUS that Israel is going ahead with their plans to destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities. PMNetanyahu may ask, pro forma, for America’s help, but they will go move forward with or without it.

    This will be a catastrophe bound to happen and it’s all the fault of our Presidents (past and present) of fiddling with political affairs in the Middle East. While America helped oust the dictators whom we could control, we allowed Iran to move forward without interference.

    • I am surprised that Netanyahu even wastes his time with the head yahoo.
      The disparity as far as knowledge is concerned is massive.
      Obama is nothing more than a college kid in comparison.
      If you take all of his czars away, Obama would be completely lost.
      The world leaders know this, and will take the most advantage of the situation that they can given the time frame.

    • You make a good point, srdem, and one you’ve made before, that we should pick our fights.

      I agree with you that this is the one place above all where we needed to be involved. And we’re late with our homework, and the consequences could be horrific.

  3. Mr Carney, I call shenanigans!
    Shenanigan! As in the deception or tomfoolery on the part of carnival stand operators.
    That describes you to the T, Mr Carney!

  4. Today, Obama proclaimed that he is not ‘bluffing’ about a military attack on Iran:

    “I think that the Israeli government recognises that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff,”

    “I also don’t, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are.”

    He must have forgotten about his speech at West Point nearly 2 years ago when he told the world exactly when we would surrender in Afghanistan!

  5. The only thing functional in this administration is Obama’s massive ego and pompous attitude. It’s bad enough he compares himself to transformational presidents like FDR, Lincoln, and Reagan. Now the guy is so delusional he’s likening himself to Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. This monumental failure reminds me more of Mickey Mouse, no offense meant to my childhood friend Mickey or any other rodent.

  6. For thousands of years we jews have been crapped on, baked in ovens, tortured and hated by billions. Yet, we survived by instinct, motivation and our willingness to change. Obama’s interaction with Israel’s president is one more reason to vote him out this year. For all you jew haters, our culture will proceed long after your venom has dried up.

    • Dr. Mark: As a Catholic, I have nothing but admiration for the Jewish people who have endured the most brutal oppression imaginable and managed to not only survive but persevere with dignity and courage. I am hard pressed to understand the source of this hatred and I’m sorry that it continues to this day. You have my eternal admiration and support. I condemn Obama’s abject lack of support for Israel as a character flaw.

      • And bet you a dozen of the finest Gulf Shrimp (with all the fixin’s) that his indifference to the jewish state was well crafted during his wonderful
        20 yrs of hanging with his”spiritual advisor”:
        the warm & fuzzy rev.wright !

        • I think you’re absolutely right. but it’s not only the dear reverend. ALL of Obama’s friends were leftist pro-Palestinians. in one of his books he boasts about it: he “chose” them for that reason, he said. and just look at the people he hires: Samantha Power, John “Al Quds” Brennan, James “Secular Muslim” Clapper…it’s not just coincidence they all skew Muslim.

          and as I said in an earlier comment: what about Rashid Khalidi, the famous Jew-hating academic? the Obamas and the Khalidis were so close they traded babysitting duties and hung out together.

          I fear that we will have to wait until Obama’s lame-duck term before he shows what he really thinks of Israel. and then it’ll be too late.

    • Doc,
      The reason we have been hated as a people for thousands of years is because it is through us, the Jewish people, that God promised the world would be blessed, Genesis 22:18.

      Not to get into any kind of theological discussion, but since the beginning of time there has been a spiritual war going on, one between darkness (Satan, the Devil, whatever name you want to use) and Light (God). God promised in Jeremiah 31:35-37 that there will always be a Jewish people. The only way that the darkness will win is to prove God a liar by destroying the Jewish people, ALL people with even an ounce of Jewish blood. The hatred for the seed of Abraham is not because we are Jews, but because the Jewish people have God’s blessings and promises.

      Along the same lines, there are those that claim to be Christians who say that the covenant with the Jews was broken with the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, but God also said in Jeremiah that He would make a “new covenant” with the Jewish people and put His teachings on their inner hearts. In Luke 22:20 Jesus told his disciples that he was establishing this new covenant through his blood.

      Whether you believe in Yeshua as Mashiah is, for this discussion, not relevant. What is relevant is that people understand that the fate of the Jewish people, not just Israel, is being fought out not just here in the physical realm , but also in the spiritual realm. And as the Jewish people go, so goes the world.

  7. I think Carney is struggling to find opaque language that dimly reflects facets of possibly positive meanings, but is not positive enough to offend muslims.

    • does anybody else wonder if Obama ever talks about this stuff with people like Rashid Khalidi? we must assume they still talk. they were very very close. can you imagine the conversations they must have about Netanyahu and those annoying Jews who won’t just die quietly like they did in Germany?

      that reminds me: RELEASE THE VIDEO, LA TIMES!

  8. It really vexes me that our Narcissist in Chief fails to realize he represent us ALL not just himself in his dealings with any country…

  9. Peculiar word choice….not too functional to leave a guest to cool his heels while you go and have dinner with your family.
    I hope that Bibi hits him hard right between the eyes.

    Also think Bam was out of line to call that Fluke woman…would he have been proud of one of his daughters for that performance?
    My parents would have been so ashamed.

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