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

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/07/when-even-ron-lauder-thinks-bibi-is-a-lousy-leader/241385/