When Even Ron Lauder Thinks Bibi Is a Lousy Leader ...

Ronald Lauder, who was as stalwart an ally of Bibi Netanyahu as they come, has blasted the prime minister for his paralysis and lack of creativity. All I can say is, Amen to this:

Addressing the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians at a conference that was closed to journalists, Lauder said Israel must present a diplomatic plan in order to regain international support and block Palestinian efforts to obtain unilateral recognition for statehood from the UN in September.

It could be that such an initiative would amount to committing political suicide for Netanyahu, but it would send the ball back into the Palestinian court, he said, according to a Hebrew translation of his remarks released afterward by a conference spokesman.

The original English speech was not released for publication.

Lauder also criticized the conditions Netanyahu has set for talks, saying the only way Israel can escape its international isolation is to agree to begin negotiations without preconditions. The international community couldn't care less about Netanyahu's domestic political problems, he said.
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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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