The Campaign Spot

How Well Does President Obama Know His Liebermans?

Over at Politico, they report about Obama’s meeting with Netanyahu:

“So,” Obama announced, according to the source in the room, “we’ve decided that we are going to trade our Lieberman for their Lieberman,” referring to the independent American senator and the hard-line Israeli foreign minister.

Perhaps the president was just making a joke that each country has a prominent politician named Lieberman. But you can’t help but wonder how familiar Obama is with the Israeli Lieberman, as he seems like the last guy that Team Obama would want to trade for. He’s made his share of controversial statements over the years, and by comparison, makes whatever controversies surround Joe Lieberman look like small potatoes.

In an Israeli cabinet meeting, Avigdor Lieberman reportedly proposed giving the Palestinians an ultimatum of bombing banks, gas stations, and commercial centers. On another occasion, he called for the execution of members of the Knesset who met with Hamas. He opposed an amnesty proposal by saying, “It would be better to drown these prisoners in the Dead Sea if possible, since that’s the lowest point in the world.” Then there was the comment that could be interpreted to suggest a nuclear strike on the Gaza Strip. He’s proposed requiring citizens to sign loyalty oaths or forfeit their right to vote.

But I guess he might not join a filibuster on health care.

Maybe the Obama administration is shifting to a really, really, hardline pro-Israel position. Or maybe Obama doesn’t know all that much about the current Israeli minister of foreign affairs.

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