Many expected Benjamin Netanyahu to be highly critical of President Obama during his speech yesterday, but he went out of his way several times to praise him. At one point, he said "some of what the president has done for Israel might never be known, because it touches on some of the most sensitive and strategic issues that arise between an American president and an Israeli prime minister." Was there a hidden message here? Pat and Stu looked at the aftermath of the speech on radio this morning.
"Why did he do that? You could make the argument he did it to sort of soften the ground. To say, 'hey, here's something really nice I'm about to say, even though coming soon is a lot of stuff you're not going to like.' It could be that," Stu explained.
But some think there was a secret message in his speech aimed at Iran. By saying the President has been helping Israel in ways that "might never be known", Netanyahu creates the suspicion that the U.S. could be saying one thing to Iran but doing something different behind the scenes.
"Some people have speculated that he did that to essentially influence the negotiations with Iran," Stu said. "This speech was essentially too Iran to say,' hey, look, this guy has been working with us behind the scenes' and hopefully that would increase the skepticism of Iran to do a deal. They would say, 'wait a minute this, guy has been doing business with Israel? That's not what they've been telling us.'"
The other possibility, one Stu agreed with, was that Netanyahu was showing he could be a world leader above pettiness and politicking.
" To me, I mean, maybe it was just he was trying to look above it," Stu said."He's a world leader. He wants to be above the politics. He wants to kind of make Obama and those who are complaining about his speech look a little petty."
Here's the section in question from Netanyahu's speech:
We appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel.
Now, some of that is widely known.
Some of that is widely known, like strengthening security cooperation and intelligence sharing, opposing anti-Israel resolutions at the U.N.
Some of what the president has done for Israel is less well- known.
I called him in 2010 when we had the Carmel forest fire, and he immediately agreed to respond to my request for urgent aid.
In 2011, we had our embassy in Cairo under siege, and again, he provided vital assistance at the crucial moment.
Or his support for more missile interceptors during our operation last summer when we took on Hamas terrorists.
In each of those moments, I called the president, and he was there.
And some of what the president has done for Israel might never be known, because it touches on some of the most sensitive and strategic issues that arise between an American president and an Israeli prime minister.
But I know it, and I will always be grateful to President Obama for that support.
Watch video of this analysis from radio below: