Aaron David Miller is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of “The End of Achievement: Why America Can’t Have (and Does Not Want) Another Great President.” Miller was a Middle East negotiator in Democratic and Republican administrations. The opinions revealed in this commentary are those of the author; view more opinion articles on CNN.( CNN) Frustrated by the lecture he ‘d received on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict during his very first conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996, President Expense Clinton blew up to assistants later– “Who’s the f ing superpower here?”This time, Netanyahu lectured President Barack Obama (or so it was characterized by PBS) about the Middle East peace process, stunning assistants and the press corps with the fact that an Israeli prime minister would talk to a United States president in such fashion. Netanyahu was so amazed with the encounter that he turned it into a project ad.Two American presidents, one Israeli prime minister and a level of diplomatic chutzpah unmatched in the history of the US-Israeli relationship.And yet, despite the tensions of the Clinton and especially the Obama years, Netanyahu emerged untouched, giving up very bit to Palestinians or restricting settlements– and gaining much, particularly on United States military assistance.
January 23, 2021