Netanyahu at War (full film) | FRONTLINE

Netanyahu at War (full film) | FRONTLINE

>>History will not give the Jewish people another chance.>>Tonight onFrontline…Benjamin Netanyahu at war.>>He is at war. He’s under siege.>>In conflict with thepresident of the United States.>>That’s not going to happen. Everybody knows it’s not going to happen.>>I’ve never seen a foreign leader speak to the president like that.>>Outrageous, outrageous.>>He is so convinced that he’s right, equally so convinced that Obama is dead wrong.>>From the battles that shapedhim…>>Palestinians were fed up. So everything unravels.>>And boom! It explodes.>>And his political rise.>>The country’s political system was super-heated.>>He was able to translate the horror of suicide bombers into political power.>>An epic story of Israel,America, and the life ofBenjamin Netanyahu.(man speaking Hebrew)>>NARRATOR: March 2015.>>The Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu…>>NARRATOR: Jerusalem. The prime minister’s residence. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is determined to stop President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.>>The prime minister has a Messianic notion of himself, as a person called to save the Jewish people.>>NARRATOR: He was about to deliver a speech to the American Congress.>>He never made such an important speech. He felt he had a historic role to play and he cannot make a mistake.>>He wants to be the Winston Churchill who stops the new evil power, Iran, in the way that Churchill stopped Nazi Germany.>>The prime minister left TelAviv this morning.He is scheduled to addressCongress.>>He wants it to be clear that he made the most powerful statement possible to warn against this deal. So, when the deal turns bad he’ll go down in history as the person who warned us all from what’s about to happen.>>Benjamin Netanyahu hasarrived in Washington DC.(reporter speaking foreign language)>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu came as Israel’s right wing leader vowing to keep his country safe from its archenemy, Iran.>>Mr. Netanyahu was invited tospeak by John Boehner.A row between the Obamaadministration and Israel…>>It’s rarely somebody who comes to say your president is wrong and you, the Congress, in effect, need to stop it.>>Growing tensions between the U.S. and Israel…>>It was extraordinary for a foreign leader to come into the United States Congress and use it as a platform to try and undermine administration policy. It was a really audacious thing to do.>>He is definitely willing to sacrifice Israeli-U.S. relations in order to do what he thinks is proper to fight off the Iranian challenge.>>NARRATOR: His audience– the Republican controlled Congress– the president’s fiercest critics.>>The days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over. (cheers and applause) We must always remember the greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. (cheers and applause)>>There was no other time when the Israeli prime minister let himself be so deeply involved in American politics recruiting, redrafting American politics against the American president.>>America’s founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran’s founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad.>>Netanyahu did an end runaround President Obama today.>>Thank you, America.>>With even some Democraticsupporters of the presidentcalling the speech powerful…>>Netanyahu did not mince wordsabout U.S.-led nuclear talkswith Iran.>>Bring relations betweenIsrael and the White House to anew low.>>NARRATOR: President Barack Obama’s anger was no secret.>>They seemed to hate eachother.>>This was the height of the White House’s animosity towards Netanyahu. I think they viewed this almost as a usurpation, as a coup d’état and they were livid.>>NARRATOR: It was a direct attack on his foreign policy legacy.>>He very much wanted to recast the United States as a friend of the Islamic world. Part of that narrative is that we’ve been associated with Israel too closely.>>NARRATOR: Obama summoned the press into the Oval Office.>>Tell me when everybody’s in.>>Barack Obama is furious. Furious. It’s a humiliation for him. It’s a humiliation in the midst of a very delicate negotiation with Iran.>>The alternative that the prime minister offers is no deal, in which case Iran will immediately begin once again pursuing its nuclear program.>>The president was angry; he thought this was an affront…>>Without us having any insight into what it is they’re doing.>>…and it was deliberate and he wasn’t going to try to make nice and pretend it wasn’t what he thought it really was.>>All right, thank you, guys. Appreciate it.>>It clearly reveals a degree of dysfunction on both sides. This is some respects was a train wreck waiting to happen even from the beginning.>>NARRATOR: For Benjamin Netanyahu, the clash with the American President was only the latest in a lifelong battle.>>Three armed Arabs today hijacked a Belgian airliner flying from Vienna to Tel Aviv.>>NARRATOR: In his early 20s, Netanyahu saw military action.>>After being hijacked by threeArab guerillas.>>NARRATOR: Palestinian militants had hijacked a plane bound for Israel.>>…the plane and its occupants would be blown up.>>NARRATOR: The world watched to see how the Israelis would react.>>The basic news is that armed persons who claim to belong to a terroristic organization, which is called the Black September, took over a Sabena plane.>>NARRATOR: Lieutenant Netanyahu would be part of the special Israeli strike force.>>Mr. Netanyahu was a member of the Sayeret Matkal Unit, which is the… it’s like the Navy SEALs. It’s the fabled unit of the Israeli Army. It’s the one that anybody who was anybody wanted to belong to.>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu and the others dressed in airport mechanics white overalls.>>The decision was to act as a mechanical and technicians, you know, who is coming to take care about the airplane. And then they penetrate very quick into the airplane. (gunshots)>>Are they shooting? Yes. They’re shooting. They are inside the aircraft.>>Suddenly they burst throughthe doorways and escape hatchesguns blazing.Passengers leaped from the planwhile the Israelis dueled withthe hijackers.>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu charged to the front of the plane.>>Gunned down the malehijackers, captured the Arabwomen, and freed thepassengers.>>This was an unbelievable success. Two of the hostages dead, terrorists dead, and some of the Sayeret Matkal team injured, including Benjamin Netanyahu, who was injured in his hand, because of his friend’s bullet that was fired in the wrong direction. But, you know, minimal cost.>>The passengers, many of themIsraelis got a jubilant welcomeas they trooped into theairport building.>>NARRATOR: In the days after the raid, Netanyahu received praise from Israel’s president.>>I think there was this element of a rite of passage for Netanyahu to be in such a unit. There was nothing grander than being in Sayeret Matkal.>>NARRATOR: He had earned full-fledged Israeli status, essential experience for a young man who spent his formative years in America. When he was seven, Benjamin, who was called Bibi, and his two brothers, Yoni and Iddo, left Israel.>>He spent some of his best years in the United States. And Netanyahu truly admires America, the American culture, the American language, everything about America.>>NARRATOR: He attended elementary school in New York; high school in suburban Philadelphia. He picked up flawless American English.>>He’s so American. When you have a conversation with Netanyahu, when he really gets engaged in it, he switches from Hebrew to English.>>NARRATOR: The move to America was not voluntary. Bibi’s father believed he was forced to leave Israel because of his strident right-wing politics.>>Benzion Netanyahu did not get tenure at the Hebrew University as a historian. And he considered it a great defeat and a humiliation to have to leave the country and find his academic way in the United States.>>NARRATOR: As a history professor in America, Bibi’s father Benzion drew a dark picture of the threats facing the Jewish people.>>He sees a world that is fundamentally hostile, a world that is afflicted by an eternal anti-Semitism, that the Nazi Holocaust was part of a long series of acts against Jews.>>NARRATOR: It was a worldview passed on to Bibi and his brothers.>>The outlook that is coming from his father is that there will always be a hostile world that would not care for the security and welfare of the Jewish nation. And one thing that we should do is do it ourselves.>>NARRATOR: The brothers were told it was up to them to protect Israel.>>They’re out to get us. They might kill us. Israel is fragile. My role is to save this people who are like childish, they don’t understand history and world politics and my role is to try to save them from their own mistakes and from these terribly demonic evil forces surrounding them. This is basically the Netanyahu gestalt.>>NARRATOR: And in 1967…>>Jordanian King Hussein signs a military pact with…>>NARRATOR: …Bibi watched as his father’s dire warnings were transformed into reality. Arab armies had massed on Israel’s borders.>>In Egypt alone there weremore than a quarter of amillion soldiers.>>NARRATOR: Thousands of tanks from Egypt, Jordan, Syria surrounded the Israelis.>>Hundreds of rocket launchers.>>The feeling here in Israel is that we’ll look at a very close and clear danger of being exterminated.>>The head of the PalestineLiberation Army, Ahmed Shukri,calls for a jihad, a holy war.“We shall slaughter you, weshall wipe you out.Kill the Jews.Wipe out Israel.”>>At least for Netanyahu’s father, this was, you know, history repeating itself.>>…by low-flying Israeli jetswho swooped in from theMediterranean, avoiding radar.>>NARRATOR: Following a surprise air attack, Israel defeated the Arab armies.>>…as crack air force,infantry, artillery, and tankcorps combine to sweep acrossthe Sinai Peninsula.>>NARRATOR: The 1967 war lasted only six days.>>Israel saves its own life. The victory was so profound, and so sudden that it had a destabilizing effect. It set in motion a lot of what we’re dealing with today.>>The war has created new refugee camps. More than a million Arabs have been displaced, homeless and helpless. They struggle to survive while the search for peace, lasting peace, goes on. By the end of the ’67 war. Isreal occupied the Golan Heights, The West Bank, The Gaza Strip, and the Sinai. Isreal had more than tripled in size. The occupation of land inhabited by Palestinians Would ignite decades of conflict But for the Isrealis it was a historic victory>>That’s the story of the Six Day War. It shows you have to be alert; you have to have good intelligence, and if your country is threatened, you have to respond quickly.>>NARRATOR: A senior in high school in America, Bibi had skipped his graduation to return to Israel for the war– to dig trenches. He would witness a turning point in Israeli history.>>You could understand why it’s so intoxicating, and if you’re an 18 year old, who was raised in the household of Benzion Netanyahu, who has a fatalistic understanding of the nature of the world, you assume the worst; you assume the worst thing is going to happen, and then this miraculous best thing happens, and it has to sort of set you on a course for the rest of your life.>>NARRATOR: That course would lead him to fight in yet another war with Israel’s neighbors. And then to the devastating loss of his older brother Yoni, a national hero who was killed in action.>>Lieutenant Colonel YonatanNetanyahu of Israel.>>Yoni in Israel is one of the line of mythical heroes of Israel’s independence. People name their children Yoni after Yoni Netanyahu. His book,Letters of Yoni,became one of the most read books, rivalingThe Diary ofAnne Frank.So Yoni is certainly a national hero.>>The death of his brother affected him immensely, as the violent death of anyone’s brother would. But it also enlarged his sense of purpose, his self-regard, his sense of destiny, his sense of mission and purpose. There’s no question about that.>>From Faneuil Hall in Boston:The Advocates.>>NARRATOR: Not long after his brother’s death, Netanyahu began a new life on American television.>>The first thing that happens is that Benjamin Netanyahu begins to present himself as an expert on terrorism.>>I call now as my first witness, Mr. Benjamin Nitay.>>NARRATOR: Having graduated from MIT and Americanized his name to Ben Nitay, he would fight for Israel in his own way, waging the battle for public opinion.>>Look, I’m 28 years old. I’ve had to defend my country in two wars and in many battles. Nobody wants peace more than Israel. But the stumbling block to the road to peace is this demand for a PLO state which will mean more war, which will mean more violence in the Middle East.>>Netanyahu was one of the earliest people who brought up this message: that there is a war going on and it’s a war between good and evil.>>And as I said…>>I’m not talking about the Arabs in Israel, I’m talking about the Arabs on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.>>If you let me, I’ll answer your question, please.>>And that you have to stand up in that war. And you cannot just run away. You have to fight it and win it.>>Israel wants to live in peace and wants to be secure. If that involves maintaining our own military guarantees against the destruction of people who surround us, yes, I believe we should fight for our survival. If I have to, I’ll fight again, but I hope not to.>>Thank you, thank you, Mr…>>NARRATOR: By the 1980s, he was appointed an official spokesman at the Israeli Embassy in Washington as “Benjamin Netanyahu.”>>Benjamin Netanyahu begins his Israeli political career in the United States. He’s unknown in Israel in the 1980s.>>I cannot imagine the growth of international terrorism in the last 15 years without the pivotal role played by Yasser Arafat’s PLO. What we are doing is trying to stop this kind of terror from spreading.>>The idea of Bibi being a performer on television goes way back. You represent your country. You sell your country. And that is what he did and he did it with enormous pride and confidence.>>The Arabs tried regular war, they failed. They tried terrorism, they failed. They’ve now embarked on a new strategy. It’s called anarchy and trial by media.>>He has a perfect American accent, what he thinks is a fingertip feel for American sensibilities and touch points, and he’s great for CNN.>>NARRATOR: And in Ronald Reagan’s America, Netanyahu was a rising star.>>He’s already a celebrity with the Jewish right in the United States.>>He cultivated from the outset Jewish rich people, Jewish millionaires who would pay almost any sum at the time to be near him and to, you know, to sort of get a whiff of his, what’s it called, stardust.>>Diplomats here were gatheringa short time ago for theirthird anti-Israeli resolutionin as many weeks.>>NARRATOR: At age 34, Netanyahu was appointed Israeli ambassador to the United Nations. He became Israel’s chief defender against criticism of its ongoing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.>>…Israeli ambassador was inaction immediately.>>What the Security Council is doing is sending a very clear message, it’s saying basically this. It says, “We condone all Palestinian violence against Israel. We condemn any Israeli countermeasures.”>>That’s what he was built for. That was what he was designed for. It was Reagan’s America, 1980s. Terror is the danger, and at the heart of the Netanyahu worldview is seeing Israel as the fortress facing forces endangering Western civilization.>>NARRATOR: In 1988, Netanyahu resigned. He returned to Israel to build his own right-wing political base.>>Preparations are underway.We expect to see the presidentshortly…>>>…for what he called ahistoric and honorablecompromise.>>NARRATOR: By the early 1990s, Netanyahu’s hard-line politics were out of fashion. The talk was no longer of war, but of peace. Negotiations were underway with their Arab neighbors.>>It’s a day for optimism.>>NARRATOR: And now with the Palestinians.>>A deal was struck in secretby the principles– by the PLO,and the Israeli…>>NARRATOR: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, a former general and hero of the ’67 war, represented Israel.>>Have now agreed to lay down their guns.>>NARRATOR: Representing the Palestinians, Yasser Arafat, the chairman of the PLO.>>A historic peace agreementdesigned to put an end to 45years of armed conflict.>>This is a historic breakthrough, between Israel and the PLO, two national movements competing for the same space and for the first time, they’re prepared to recognize each other.>>NARRATOR: Known as the Oslo Accord, it was designed to end years of violence by laying out a peace process, a deal that could give Palestinians their own state and land captured in the ’67 war.>>Once the agreement was done, it was the White House as the venue agreed for the signature. President Clinton felt this was his baby.>>NARRATOR: But that day things were tense.>>To the last minute there were issues. Rabin was insisting that Arafat can’t come in anything that looks like a uniform. We’re telling Arafat, “You can’t come with a… you don’t bring a weapon.” You know, he always had a pistol. “You don’t bring a weapon to the White House.”>>Then, at a point, the president looks at Rabin, and he says, “You’re going to have to shake his hand.” And Rabin looked like someone had punched him in the stomach. And he stood there for a moment. This is a man he considered a terrorist all his life. And he said to Clinton, “Okay, but no kissing.” So we then went down to the Oval Office and we worked out maneuvers with Clinton of how if… Arafat liked to kiss, usually three kisses. And we worked out sort of football/basketball maneuvers of how Clinton could step in various ways, if Arafat made a lunge towards Rabin, how Clinton could break them up.>>Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin, the President of the United States.>>NARRATOR: The ceremony was carefully scripted. There were speeches, the signing of the Oslo Accord, and all eyes were on Arafat and Rabin.>>Rabin is very uneasy. The idea of personally shaking hands with this guy is physically difficult for him. He couldn’t hide his feelings. And that comes through.>>The first agreement eversigned between…>>NARRATOR: And then the handshake. An image that would become iconic.>>These hands that shook knew nothing but to shoot– the trigger, the bullets, the bombs, the fight. And the question to me is, can this handshake lead to the culture in the minds of Palestinians and Israelis, that coexistence is possible, that peace is possible to live and let live. (applause)>>NARRATOR: Now in Israel, Netanyahu was building a coalition of the ultra-religious right and security-minded conservatives. They strongly opposed the Oslo agreement. And in no time, protests began.>>The world celebrated that handshake, that historic handshake on the White House lawn, but in Israel there was a fair degree of skepticism.>>NARRATOR: Week after week, Netanyahu watched the protests build.>>The people on the right in Israel were not happy about the Oslo process, and recognizing the PLO, the terrorists, was a bitter pill.>>We’re demonstrating against the inability of the government to maintain order in this country and to protect the rights of Jews living in their own land.>>NARRATOR: With an election on the horizon, Netanyahu maneuvered the growing anger into a political force.>>He did not believe in the possibility of a deal with the Palestinians. He didn’t trust them, he didn’t like them, he doesn’t and he doesn’t want to have a deal with them, he didn’t want to have a deal with them.>>NARRATOR: As head of the conservative Likud party, Netanyahu himself became the face of the opposition to Oslo.>>Netanyahu saw a moment of betrayal, and peril, and an agreement that would never and could never work. (chanting and shouting)>>There’s a really ugly character to it. The level of vitriol, the anger, the scope of these demonstrations. The kind of incitement, the portrayal of Rabin, dressing Rabin in Nazi uniforms or putting a keffiyah on him.>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu found himself at the center of the anger.>>In most cases he doesn’t do anything about it. I think Netanyahu even in some ways benefits from this association with the rabble rousers on the right.>>I think the country’s political system was superheated. It was like a car riding on a highway that had no water left in the radiator. And you could look at the temperature gauge, and it’s all the way in the… in hot.>>NARRATOR: The intensity grew, culminating in a massive protest. Tens of thousands crammed into the center of Jerusalem.>>He was genuinely outraged, but he knew how to channel that outrage and that coincided with his rise to power.>>NARRATOR: In Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party, there was concern about the growing tension in the crowds that night.>>There were moments when Netanyahu was advised that, you know, there are real nutcases in the national religious camp that we see, that we need to calm down, even gesturally. (chanting) Netanyahu never did that, he never did that, to his enormous discredit.>>(speaking Hebrew)>>NARRATOR: The crowd was with him as he attacked Arafat…>>… Arafat… (crowd booing)>>NARRATOR: …and then the government of Yitzhak Rabin.>>All Likud leaders, especially Benjamin Netanyahu, they have used very strong language against Prime Minister Rabin.>>They didn’t use any kind of condemnation against the violence that was starting to take place.>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu would later say he never saw the ugliest moments that night. Throughout Israel the anger boiled over. (people shouting) (police whistle blowing) (sirens blaring)>>I was there and a lot of other people my age were there. This was such a volatile atmosphere at the time and the writing was on the wall. (chanting)>>NARRATOR: Night after night, the crowds massed across the street from Prime Minister Rabin’s apartment in Tel Aviv.>>I’m there one Shabbat evening. We’re talking. And it’s just the two of us. And there is a demonstration outside. And I said to him at the time, I said, “Don’t you worry about some of this?” And he goes, “No.” I mean he was… it’s not that he was completely dismissive of it, but he took it as kind of a given. He knew, in a sense, what was coming, and simply accepted it.>>NARRATOR: Rabin responded with his own rally, more than 100,000 supporters singing of peace. (woman singing) (cheers and applause) Then as Rabin was leaving– that’s him coming down the ramp– the man in the blue t-shirt approached. (gunshots) Three shots from behind.>>The Israeli prime minister,Yitzhak Rabin, the architect ofthe Middle East peace processhas been assassinated.>>NARRATOR: The assassin, a right wing Israeli Jew: Yigal Amir.>>Truly shocking news from theMiddle East tonight– Israel’sprime minister, Yitzhak Rabin,has been assassinated.>>An evening spent dreaming of peace turns into a national nightmare.>>NARRATOR: Outside the hospital, the crowd began to chant, “Bibi is a murderer.” (chanting)>>…this evening, there isanger, shock, andunderstandable sadness.>>NARRATOR: The sign says, “Bibi, Rabin’s blood is on your hands.” (shouting)>>An assassin has taken yet another world leader away from us. It was just after the biggest peace rally in Tel Aviv…>>NARRATOR: Rabin’s widow blamed Netanyahu for contributing to her husband’s death…>>The assassination of YitzhakRabin has also produced shockin the Palestinian community.>>NARRATOR: …and said so on worldwide television.>>Your husband pointed the finger at Mr. Netanyahu and said, “You must stop this incitement.” To what extent do you blame Mr. Netanyahu and the Likud for what has happened?>>I do– I do blame them. The rally in Kikar Zion in Jerusalem that showed him in the uniform of a Nazi. So Mr. Bibi Netanyahu now we can say from here to eternity that he didn’t support it and didn’t agree with it, but he was there and he didn’t stop it.>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu’s close advisor at the time vehemently disagrees.>>The attempt to pin on him the murder of the prime minister is a cheap, political propaganda trick that was taken by his political opponents– mostly from the left– in order to de-legitimatize Netanyahu as the political public and to de-legitimatize the positions of Likud in the Israeli open political debate. (man singing mournfully) (sobbing)>>NARRATOR: As the nation mourned, Bibi Netanyahu faced the political consequences of Rabin’s death. The American ambassador says they spoke about it the day before the funeral.>>I remember Netanyahu saying to me, “Look, look at this. He’s a hero now. But if he had not been assassinated I would have beaten him in the elections and then he would have gone into history as a failed politician.” Netanyahu was thinking, well, politically he was on the ropes before he was assassinated.>>NARRATOR: And Netanyahu had a new and powerful opponent: the American president.>>President Clinton was really affected by Rabin’s assassination. And he viewed, I think, Netanyahu through the eyes of Rabin as the person who would bring down Oslo if given half a chance.>>Your prime minister was a martyr for peace, but he was a victim of hate. Surely, we must learn from his martyrdom that if people cannot let go of the hatred of their enemies, they risk sowing the seeds of hatred among themselves.>>He felt a real responsibility to Rabin, a personal responsibility to see through his legacy, and the Oslo accords was Rabin’s legacy.>>NARRATOR: But Rabin’s legacy was in jeopardy. His successor, Shimon Peres, would have to win an election, and that meant facing Bibi Netanyahu.>>Bibi in the election is running against Oslo. So the choice seems so clear. Clinton wants to do everything we can to help Peres. And he probably goes overboard in terms of that.>>I mean, if there’s ever a time where we tried to influence an Israeli election, it was Peres versus Netanyahu.>>NARRATOR: Clinton’s political operatives opened a back channel with the Peres campaign. Clinton authorized hundreds of millions in additional military aide, and returned to Israel to personally campaign for Shimon Peres.>>Israelis loved Clinton; if he ran here for prime minister, he would win easily, no matter under which banner. Israelis loved Clinton. Bill Clinton.>>NARRATOR: The week after the assassination, Netanyahu was behind in the polls by 31 points.>>People that have spoken to him in those days have said that he thought that his career was over.>>NARRATOR: Then, as election day neared… (loud explosion)>>Ten kilograms of explosivesreduced this commuter bus…>>NARRATOR: It was the number 18 bus, right through the heart of Jerusalem– a symbolic act. The Palestinian extremist group Hamas claimed responsibility.>>There were some Palestinian groups trying to make sure that sabotaging of the peace process. “Rabin was assassinated, let us stop the whole process. (loud explosion)>>It was the bloodiest day…>>NARRATOR: And it was just the beginning.>>It’s easy to forget that actually Rabin’s great, heroic act ended up with terror in our streets, and people dying, and we were all driven nuts by… you had peace ceremonies one day, and terror the other day. And it drove people crazy.>>NARRATOR: For Netanyahu, it was an opening.>>And so Netanyahu is naturally returned to center stage as the person who had warned about terrorism and slowly starts to recover.>>This morning the sound ofsirens again interrupted themorning commute.>>NARRATOR: Six days later, the Number 18 bus again.>>Police combed the hellish wreckage for clues… (speaking foreign language)>>Victims were hurled from thedemolished bus, only body partscould be recovered.>>NARRATOR: Over nine days, four bombs, 59 dead, hundreds injured.>>Many Israelis did not, couldnot believe the morning news.Another bloody Sunday.>>A suicide bomber has onceagain blown up a city bus.>>And Israelis lost faith in the process, in that process. One of the slogans that came from grassroots was, “This peace is killing us.” (chanting)>>“Peres go home,” screamedthese Jews opposed to the peaceprocess.They taunted him, chanting thename of the Prime MinisterRabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir.>>Yigal Amir! Yigal Amir!>>I will never forget this. In Tel Aviv once, there was a horrible terrorist bombing. I drove by about three days afterwards, and somebody had written graffiti on the wall, and they wrote, “The Likud was right.” (woman speaking foreign language)>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu started to climb in the polls.>>He was able to speak to the masses and translate the horror of suicide bombers into political power. And say, “I will be able to solve this. I am strong. I come from a military background. I have the experience and the spirit to stop suicide bombers.”>>NARRATOR: But by midnight on election day, it looked like Netanyahu’s surge had fallen short.>>The entire country went to sleep convinced that Peres had been elected and woke up with Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister.>>The Arab world and the UnitedStates will now have to dealwith a much moreconservative…>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu had promised security to the growing number of Israelis scarred by the violence. It worked, barely.>>…and the current PrimeMinister Shimon Peres is a merefraction of one percent.>>I walk into his suite at about 5:30 in the morning and basically I didn’t leave it. He said, “You, you, you, all three or four of us were there. You’re the core team.” And that’s how it officially started. (sirens blaring)>>Netanyahu is one his way tothe United States for his firstvisit since becoming Israel’sprime minister.>>Benjamin Netanyahu’s dealingswith the president of theUnited States will be ofintense interest among Arabswho have already begun…>>NARRATOR: Just over one month later, Prime Minister Netanyahu was at the White House.>>President Clinton and Prime Minister Netanyahu will hold a joint news conference…>>NARRATOR: Waiting alone for a face-to-face meeting with Bill Clinton.>>When he came in as prime minister to meet the president of the United States, he knew that he was dealing with another young guy, just as smart as he was. But as president of the United States, Clinton had his set of responsibilities. Netanyahu as an Israeli leader has his responsibilities. And they were in collision.>>They were of very different minds. Bibi had just been elected. The president had intervened against him. There was a kind of… not a very good way to start a meeting.>>NARRATOR: Behind closed doors, Clinton would demand Netanyahu continue the Oslo peace process and personally meet with Yasser Arafat. It didn’t take long for the meeting to become contentious.>>He came in pretty full of himself. And he was pretty much telling the president how to deal with the Arabs. He understands how to deal with the Arabs.>>His sort of posture was, “Let me tell you about the Middle East.” And then he proceeded to lecture the president on the realities of the Middle East. “Here is the way it is.”>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu did not hold back on his feelings about Oslo.>>Netanyahu wanted to make clear that even though the previous government had signed the agreement that he had some real reservations about it. And so I think that that’s where it got off to a bad start.>>And so when the meeting’s over, Clinton turns, and he says, “Who does he think the superpower is?”>>NARRATOR: But Clinton wouldn’t give up on the peace agreements, and Netanyahu couldn’t ignore him– the U.S. was Israel’s biggest supporter.>>And I think there’s a moment where Netanyahu has to decide: can he try to block the actual implementation of the agreement, but concede some things that Clinton was pressing for in terms of an on camera, for instance, handshake with Arafat? I think that was the calculation.>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu decided to go along with one key Clinton demand. He drove 50 miles to the border of Palestinian territory in Gaza. At the Erez crossing he met his enemy, Yasser Arafat.>>And that day I was there. And I was thinking, how will this happen? I was trying to do whatever I can to make sure that if needs to I will employ every damage control mechanism, every crisis management, everything.>>NARRATOR: It was a meeting Netanyahu had insisted would never happen.>>Very, very hard. Very hard. He swore he would never shake Arafat’s hand.>>NARRATOR: But now he was in the same room with the man he had called a terrorist.>>He is, in some ways, in many ways a reality-based politician. He had to meet with Arafat. He had to work within the context that Rabin created, but he didn’t want to work within the context Rabin created.>>NARRATOR: Bill Clinton got what he wanted: the handshake. Netanyahu said he feared his father would disapprove of the gesture. But, once started, the handshakes just kept on coming. And he took other steps. He pulled Israeli troops out of the West Bank city of Hebron and signed a treaty agreeing to further implement Oslo. But close observers say he was slow walking the peace process.>>Netanyahu made life very, very difficult for the American administration, and for those Israelis who wanted peace. He was really difficult, he was slow, he was stubborn, he made life very difficult for all the peaceniks– Americans, Europeans, and Israelis.>>NARRATOR: And behind the scenes at one peace conference, Bill Clinton let Bibi Netanyahu know how frustrated he was.>>One morning, I think it was 4:00 a.m. in the morning, I hear shouting. Real shouting. Screaming. 4:00 a.m. in the morning, President Clinton shouting from the depth of his stomach, and head, and ears, and eyes, and nose, and mouth, and legs at Bibi Netanyahu.>>NARRATOR: Erekat and others say Bibi’s maneuvers could be maddening.>>I’ve seen the frustration of many people. I’ve seen the frustration of Israeli negotiators. I’ve seen the frustration of American presidents. I’ve seen my frustration.>>NARRATOR: Before long, Netanyahu’s political support began to erode.>>Nobody was happy with him. The left weren’t happy with him for what he was doing to undermine Oslo and the right wasn’t happy with him for what he was doing to keep Oslo. He was in this sort of impossible balancing act. (shouting)>>At that point, the prime minister’s conservative base folds, and some people on the conservative right work with the Israeli left to bring down Prime Minister Netanyahu.>>NARRATOR: By election night, it was clear Netanyahu was headed to a decisive defeat to Ehud Barak.>>I remember that night of elections, you know it was a total disaster. He stood up, he said, “I’m taking time off from politics.” And I remember saying, “Okay, we’re not going to see him again.” (car engine starting)>>Israelis and Palestinians,in a last-ditch pitch forMiddle East peace…>>…a summit at Camp David, asummit the Clintonadministration believes…>>NARRATOR: Now with Netanyahu out of the picture, Bill Clinton tried to personally push through a final peace deal. At Camp David, he brought together Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak for the high-stakes negotiation. But coming to any agreement proved elusive.>>Barak made a far-reaching offer, I think, went further than we was planning to do, but for Arafat it was unacceptable.>>And he said, “If I accept this, you’ll be… do you want to walk behind my casket?” That’s what he said.>>NARRATOR: Among the most contentious issues: the future of Jerusalem.>>Ehud Barak comes with the help of the American team, and a lot of American support. And Barak does everything. He is a courageous guy– a bit too courageous– but he tries everything and boom! It explodes, and there’s no Netanyahu around. You cannot blame… when the Camp David peace summit fails, no, Netanyahu is not there. (loud explosion)>>NARRATOR: Palestinians launched a new round of violence, a sustained uprising: the Intifada.>>Palestinians were fed up. There were years of failed negotiations. Security for them went backwards. Freedom of movement went backwards. Freedom of religion went backwards. The economy went backwards. And there was a point at which Palestinians said, “Enough. We are done with this process of negotiations.” And so everything unravels. Everything unravels.>>NARRATOR: Amid the turmoil, Netanyahu worked at rebuilding his political support and found a receptive audience.>>The conclusion on the Israeli right certainly is this is what you get for weakness. This view spreads from the Israeli right really rather more broadly in Israeli society, the view that there is no partner for peace.>>NARRATOR: To his supporters the continuing violence seemed to be evidence that Netanyahu should be returned to power.>>We warned beforehand that this is exactly what is going to happen. If you put yourself to be in a situation that the other side sees you as such a weak leader, the result is not going to be reconciliation. It’s not going to be a historic shift, metamorphosis of the Palestinians. It is going to be war. (loud explosion)>>NARRATOR: As he rebuilt his political coalition, Netanyahu would watch as terror struck beyond the Middle East.>>An apparent terrorist attack.>>A very large plane just flewdirectly over my building andthere’s been another collision.>>September 11th, the year2001, a day unlike any other…>>NARRATOR: Muslim extremists struck America.>>I can hear you and the restof the world hears you.>>NARRATOR: A new American president used rhetoric that would resonate with Netanyahu’s view of the world.>>There’s no neutral ground in the fight between civilization and terror because there is no neutral ground between good and evil.>>NARRATOR: And in Israel, the violence continued as even more efforts at peace collapsed.>>Another suicide bomb, moreviolence and death.>>NARRATOR: By 2008, Netanyahu was on the rise, once again the head of Likud and preparing to run for prime minister.>>The political culture has shifted. In fact, he is one of the main political forces that’s helped move the entire Israeli political spectrum to the right.>>He is a great politician and he has understood the DNA of the Israeli public. He understands that you have to look them in the eye and you have to say, “I’ll keep you safe.”>>NARRATOR: By that summer, he was ahead in the polls. And as his advisors began to prepare for the future, they say they were worrying about a different election. In America, it looked like the Democrat might win.>>Fired up! Ready to go! Fired up! Ready to go!>>Barack Obama came pretty much out of nowhere. He was a senator for about ten and a half minutes, and suddenly, he was running for president. This a pretty alien creature to Netanyahu and to a lot of Israelis.>>NARRATOR: They met in Jerusalem in the summer of 2008.>>I was at the first meetings between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama, before each was elected. What I sensed were two individuals who come from different parts of the political spectrum, one very liberal in his foreign policy assumptions, the other conservative, national security oriented.>>NARRATOR: And Netanyahu himself was concerned.>>I happened to be on a reporting trip in Jerusalem. And I went into the coffee shop at the King David Hotel. There was one other person there, and it was Netanyahu sitting in a corner by himself reading newspapers. There was one thing on his mind: who is this guy Obama? Who is he? What is he really like? And he wanted very much to point out to me, as if I didn’t know it, that Obama’s middle name was Hussein, and that his father was a Muslim. What kind of objectivity could this man bring to bear on Israel?>>I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear…>>It’s the inauguration dayfor the nation’s firstAfrican-American president…>>NARRATOR: The new American president’s first moves would do little to reassure Netanyahu. In his inaugural address, Barack Obama reached out directly to Muslims.>>To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.>>He very much wanted to break, certainly with the Bush legacy, from the Iraq war, and maybe the longer legacy of America’s estrangement from the Arab world, from the Muslim world, as he would call it.>>NARRATOR: On his first day in office, he set a new tone. His first phone call, to Yasser Arafat’s successor, the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.>>He started off by sending the right signals to Palestinians. And I found that very sincere because he didn’t need to make that phone call.>>NARRATOR: Later, his first television interview. He chose an Arab TV network.>>I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries. My job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world.It is my privilege to comehere…>>NARRATOR: And he decided to send a signal to Palestinians and Israelis. He wanted to restart the peace process.>>History shows us that strong and sustained American engagement can bridge divides and build the capacity that supports progress.>>I think Obama really believed in 2009 he could sit down with rational people and come up with a rational solution. “All we have to do is get them together, and of course we can settle this thing. We all know it can be settled. I can be the one to do it.”>>NARRATOR: Obama had built his political career on his ability to bridge differences.>>The history of Obama is a belief in his own ability to bring people of disparate views and cultures and backgrounds together to solve difficult problems.>>Blacks, whites, Hispanics…>>NARRATOR: In his 20s, Obama had started his political education in Chicago, not long after the city had elected its first black mayor, Harold Washington.>>…have joined hands to form a new democratic coalition!>>Washington’s election really is Chicago’s version of the civil rights movement. And like the larger Civil Rights movement, it is an alliance in many ways between African Americans and a lot of progressive Jews.>>NARRATOR: As a candidate, Obama forged an alliance with the city’s powerful progressive Jews.>>Obama identifies with the Jewish community as the community that stood with the African American community in those very difficult fights back in the ’60s.>>NARRATOR: Newton Minow and Judge Abner Mikva were two of his closest Jewish supporters.>>He bonded with these leaders in the Jewish community here because they shared this powerful commitment to social justice work. My father describes Barack Obama as having a Yiddish neshama– a Jewish soul.>>The man has been surrounded by Jewish influences: the law professors, the law colleagues, fellow community organizers, his early backers in Chicago. He has a vision of an idealized Israel. Israel’s this chance to get it right, to build a nation state, but to do it right, in a progressive way.>>NARRATOR: He would be elected with more than 70% of the Jewish vote. Many of them shared his belief that Israelis and Palestinians could sit down and resolve their differences.>>By and large, their politics was liberal, progressive, and that extended not only to their views of, say, social policy in the United States or any other issue, but also having to do with Israel.>>NARRATOR: It was a vision that was very much at odds with what Benzion Netanyahu had taught his son.>>What Obama is admiring in the Jewish tradition and in the Jews that he knows is exactly what Netanyahu fears. It is the sense that Jews have this instinct towards making the world better. That may make them, in Netanyahu’s eyes, too idealistic to deal with the actual threats that they really face, especially in a place like the Middle East.>>The deeper clash here is really, if you wish, like between two versions of Judaism. One is the universalist, liberal, progressive Judaism, and one is the under-siege fortress Judaism which Netanyahu is all about.>>NARRATOR: And now as president, Obama sought to make those progressive ideals a reality, doing what no other president had done: creating peace between Israelis and Palestinians.>>I think in a lot of ways, the president and the people around him were caught up with Obama being a transformative figure. They were caught up in the moment that he represented such a transformation, such a change, and that in itself had a kind of power. And it created a kind of leverage, and I think it created a set of expectations about what they could produce as a result.>>NARRATOR: To help bridge the differences between Israelis and Palestinians, Obama turned to veteran conflict negotiator George Mitchell.>>Just 48 hours after he had been inaugurated as president, he said to me, “I’m serious about this. I want to do something. And I want you to go there right away as an indication of my seriousness.” I said, “Well, I can’t leave tonight,” I said, “because I’ve got to go home and pack a bag.” But I left a couple of days later.>>We begin tonight withbreaking news.New explosions in Gaza.Fresh Israeli air strikes.>>NARRATOR: But on the ground in Israel, Mitchell quickly found that Obama’s hopes did not match the stark reality. In Gaza, the extremist group Hamas was in charge.>>Hamas security forces thetarget in a third day ofIsraeli missile strikesin Gaza.>>The timing for the potential for success in early 2009 could not have been worse. President Obama was sworn in just four days after the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas had come to a conclusion. Emotions were very high and very negative. There was a lot of hostility, a lot of feelings of victimization on both sides. The circumstances were not conducive to moving forward.>>Likud leader BenjaminNetanyahu appears to havelocked up the prime minister’soffice.>>NARRATOR: And there was a political challenge. Israel elected a new prime minister. Now Barack Obama would have to deal with Bibi Netanyahu.>>They are completely opposites, because it’s deep. It’s not only a progressive and a conservative. Barack Obama has Martin Luther King in him. He has Nelson Mandela in him. The world is moving in the right direction, and his role is to accelerate that. And Netanyahu is profoundly a pessimist, profoundly a pessimist. So it’s not only the clash between the progressive and the conservative; it’s a clash between the optimist and the pessimist.>>NARRATOR: At the White House, the president’s staff were anxious about Netanyahu’s victory. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, a veteran of President Clinton’s clashes with Netanyahu, warned Obama.>>Rahm Emanuel in particular has these vivid memories of Netanyahu trying to push around Bill Clinton, and comes to Obama essentially and says, “We’re not going to do that over again. Don’t get played by this guy. This guy is going to do X, Y, and Z, and we’re not going to allow him to play his game.”>>So there was an instinctive feeling that Bibi will never do what he needs to do unless you pressure him. And I think that was basically Rahm’s attitude– at least, it’s the way I understood Rahm’s attitude.>>NARRATOR: The strategy would be to show the Arab world that Obama could take a hard line on Israel– could create some daylight.>>That’s the expression, “daylight,” the imposing of daylight in the relationship. There’s a belief that you win friends in the Arab world by distancing yourself from Israel.>>NARRATOR: That May, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at the White House.>>All right, everybody. Just tell me when everybody’s set up. Great. Well, listen, I first of all want to thank Prime Minister Netanyahu for making this visit.>>Obama is in the difficult position of dealing with an Israeli prime minister who has now, from the American point of view, regressed to the point of view where it’s hard to see how you’re going to have any meaningful negotiation with the Palestinians.>>NARRATOR: Obama insisted that Netanyahu stop the construction of Jewish settlements on lands captured in the ’67 war. which were claimed by the Palestinians>>It wasn’t a request; it was a demand. And I think that this shocked Netanyahu, shocked the people around Netanyahu, and gave proof to the people who had been whispering in Netanyahu’s ears that this guy is up to no good.>>NARRATOR: A settlement freeze– a recurring demand of American presidents, but it was a deal-breaker for the right flank of Netanyahu’s fragile political coalition.>>The freeze notion was a difficult one. It had a very sharp point, and it came at Israel in the first instance with a knife.>>Netanyahu is surprised by that and feels that in a sense, he’s kind of walked into a trap.>>Netanyahu found that outrageous. Palestinians weren’t doing anything, as far as he was concerned, so why should he? So there’s already some real scratchiness there over what Obama expected Israel to do and what Israel expected out of Obama.>>It will not be easy. It never has been easy.>>NARRATOR: And in front of the press, Obama doubled down, making the demand in public.>>I’m saying publicly what I said privately: that settlements have to be stopped in order for us to move forward. That’s a difficult issue, I recognize that, but it’s an important one, and it has to be addressed.>>NARRATOR: For Netanyahu, his first meeting with the president couldn’t have gone worse.>>I think Netanyahu recognized in Obama suddenly a person who was hell-bent on setting up a Palestinian state.>>I remember him coming back from his first meeting with President Obama. Something tells him it’s going to be a different president. Super-intelligent lawyer who is probably a brilliant, brilliant man. He has ideas, he has goals, he has a vision, and something what we in Hebrew call a “neshama.” The soul is too cold to be connected to Israel.>>What ever happened in that traumatic meeting, he came back… …angry, suspicious, hostile. He came back from Washington feeling that he is at war, that he is under siege. And that shaped the entire relationship, because people like Netanyahu, you don’t get a second chance.>>NARRATOR: The president of the United States was now an adversary.>>President Obama todaydelivers one of the mostimportant speeches of his youngadministration.>>NARRATOR: Two weeks later…>>A major speech to reach outto the Muslim world.>>NARRATOR: …the Obama campaign to win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world continued.>>The president turns hisattention to a much larger Arabaudience in Cairo and beyond.>>That speech was to try to reset relations with the Muslim world and send a message that the United States was not anti-Muslim.>>Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States.>>NARRATOR: During his first days in office, he had signaled a change in tone. With the Netanyahu meeting, he had tried to show he could get tough with Israel. And now in Egypt, he would personally make the case.>>He believed that he could make an overture to the Muslim world, and the Muslim world would believe him. He meant to be a good soldier, a good guy, a middle man, an honest broker, an American president you could deal with, an American who is sympathetic to you.>>NARRATOR: It was billed as an unprecedented address to the world’s one and a half billion Muslims.>>I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world…>>NARRATOR: But Israelis were watching too, among them Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States.>>It’s the first time, to my knowledge as an historian, that a president of the United States addresses the world adherents of one faith.>>So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable.>>Israel had no advance warning of the Cairo speech. Complete shock. And there are many aspects of the speech which have direct impact on Israel, the most obvious of which is the condemnation of settlements.>>The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. It is time for these settlements to stop.>>He addressed the Palestinian issue in a way that was not a political issue, but a just issue, and I think that was a hard point for the Israeli public to swallow.>>NARRATOR: For many of the Israelis watching, the message was clear.>>We live in a world of images and perceptions. And for some, it gave the impression that in choosing between Israel and the Muslim world, the choice was the Muslim world.>>May God’s peace be upon you. Thank you very much.>>Immediately after the speech, crystal clear, I remember talking to an Israeli journalist, a very senior journalist whom the White House cleverly had invited to Cairo to hear the speech, and he called me from Cairo. He said, “This is a disaster. This is a disaster.” I said, “Tell Rahm. Tell him, because they need to do something about this. This is really going to lose the Israelis.”>>NARRATOR: The president then left the Middle East. To the surprise of many, he did not stop over in Israel.>>The message of PresidentBarack Obama’s historic speechin Egypt…>>Worse than anything, while he was there, a 45-minute plane ride to Israel, he didn’t stop there. He just went on his way.>>The Israelis were insulted. I mean, you’re coming into the neighborhood, can’t you drop for coffee? We’re just so close. I mean, Cairo, Tel Aviv? Come on, say hello, we’ll be nice to you!>>Don’t forget, he went to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt. He didn’t go to Israel. For Israelis, the combination of not visiting and the speech sent them a very strong signal that he didn’t like them.>>NARRATOR: The decision to skip Israel had been advocated by the President’s senior foreign policy advisors.>>Ben Rhodes and Dennis McDonough strongly argued against going to Israel because it would look like business as usual. And if he was going to show it was different this time, he had to act in a way that was different this time. He had to break the mold. That was the reason.>>NARRATOR: Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes insists it was the right move.>>I have lived in this job for seven years and have learned repeatedly that you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Frankly, I see it as a lose-lose proposition. Whatever we were going to do was not going to be the right thing for this particular Israeli government.>>NARRATOR: Other Obama advisors now admit it was a mistake.>>I personally think it would have been wise had the president gone on to Israel from there and made a comparable statement of reassurance.>>I regret that. I think if we were to do that all over again, I think we should have added a stop there.>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu capitalized on Obama’s decision not to stop in Israel.>>Netanyahu was the first Israeli prime minister, in a way, to run against an American president. To sort of go to his base and say, “You’ve got to vote for me, because I can keep this American president at bay.”>>NARRATOR: Right wing newspapers fanned the flames, increasingly portraying the president as an enemy of Israel.>>The messaging has been consistent that this guy is a danger to us, and the only thing stopping him from having his way with Israel is Benjamin Netanyahu.>>NARRATOR: Obama’s reputation took a hit. Just six percent of Jewish Israelis said they considered him pro-Israel.>>Obama is very unpopular in Israel, and he’s the first American president in a very long time to be very unpopular. We talk about how popular Clinton was, that’s not the case for Obama. >>Once he lost the Israelis, he couldn’t move the Israelis because he didn’t have the trust that Clinton had.>>Netanyahu figured out that he had the backing of his people, the backing of his government. He was perfectly comfortable to stand still.>>President Obama immediatelydispatching his Special EnvoyGeorge Mitchell…>>Mitchell visits Israel…>>NARRATOR: Despite the obstacles, Obama sent his envoy George Mitchell to Israel 19 times over two years.>>Mitchell says he will begoing back to the region…>>NARRATOR: Hundreds of meetings. It was tough going. Neither side was ready to do a deal.>>Back again in Israel…>>NARRATOR: Mitchell gave up. He submitted his letter of resignation in 2011.>>I withdrew. I concluded that the level of mistrust between both societies made it highly unlikely that they would be able to overcome that level of mistrust and reach agreement.>>NARRATOR: The president had lost his point man, and his Middle East policy was in trouble.>>The president asked his staff for a report card about how well they had done on executing on the 2009 speech, and it was basically a series of Ds and Fs. They had done an extremely poor job.>>NARRATOR: And there was mounting criticism by Jews in Israel and America.>>You know, I remember a time when I worked in the White House and I went to find the president, and he was just staring into space. He was very contemplative. I said, “What’s on your mind?” And he said, “You know, I think I’m the closest thing to a Jew who’s ever sat in this office. I feel very close to the community, and it hurts to be depicted somehow as hostile to the community. It bothers me.”>>NARRATOR: Then, this man in Tunisia lit himself on fire.>>Mohammed Bouazizi sets himself on fire, and within a very short period of time, he sets the whole Middle East on fire.>>Thousands of angrydemonstrators marched throughthe streets of Tunisia’scapital this morning…>>We’re tracking this veryserious development…>>NARRATOR: Within weeks, protests had broken out in Yemen, Bahrain, Libya. And in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, hundreds of thousands turned out to protest President Hosni Mubarak. At the White House, President Barack Obama watched the protests on television.>>When Obama sees these insurrections in North Africa and the Middle East, he is very excited by them.>>Now suddenly, it looks like the forces of history are in the squares, not in the presidential palaces. And now the president wants to be on the right side of history.>>NARRATOR: For three decades, Mubarak had been an American ally.>>The Arab Street is rising up against these dictators, and I think Obama faced this moment, this decision.>>Obama is very enthusiastic about what’s happening in Tahrir Square, more than many people in his own cabinet. And he wants to put America on the side of that.>>NARRATOR: The president decided to get involved: he would tell Mubarak to leave.>>I was with him in the Oval Office when he does this phone call to Mubarak. He was trying to nudge Mubarak in a certain direction, and Mubarak was in a state of complete denial. Mubarak is telling the president, “You don’t understand. I understand my people.”>>NARRATOR: And in front of the cameras, Obama repeated his demand.>>Good evening, everybody. Over the past few days, the American people have watched the situation unfolding in Egypt. What is clear– and what I indicated tonight to President Mubarak– is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now. Thank you very much.>>NARRATOR: He had issued his ultimatum. In Israel, Netanyahu expressed amazement at what Obama had done.>>The Arab Spring is a perfect example of where Netanyahu believes that Obama was colossally naive.>>NARRATOR: Israel had made peace with some of its Arab neighbors, including Egypt. Now Netanyahu was worried those regimes would fall to Muslim extremists.>>Netanyahu’s reaction was the tragic realist reaction, which is, “This ain’t gonna work out, guys. Democracy’s not going to take root. You’re going to have the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo in a year or two.”>>Israelis are slapping their heads and saying, “Oh my God, what a disaster.” Because what they see is not an outbreaking of democracy; they see an outbreaking of chaos that’s going to be quickly snatched and dominated by Islamic extremists.>>NARRATOR: At the time, Dan Meridor was the deputy prime minister.>>The quick pace with which the American administration started to push Mubarak off the cliff– “He has to go, he has to go now, he has to go now”– amazed me. The thinking that if Mubarak is out, a new Thomas Jefferson is going to be born on the Nile and build a new republic was miserably naive.>>The president Hosni Mubarak has stepped down…>>The sound of freedom…>>NARRATOR: Ten days after Obama’s phone call, Mubarak resigned.>>Tonight, the people of Egypt have toppled their leader. That nation has just been…>>When he fell, I think the amazement of Mubarak and his people that America deserted them openly, and the amazement of many allies of America, leaders in the region, that America seemed not to be a reliable ally and pushes you when they need at least not to interfere. I think this was a big mistake.>>NARRATOR: At the White House, the president seized the moment. Obama wanted a reset of his approach to the Middle East. He told his staff to prepare a new speech.>>The president wanted to speak and lay out what the U.S. principles were going to be as we dealt with a region that was going through seismic change.>>The president of the United States, Barack Obama.>>NARRATOR: He delivered the speech in front of a room filled with staffers at the State Department.>>For six months, we have witnessed an extraordinary change taking place in the Middle East and North Africa.>>NARRATOR: He spoke for nearly an hour, but the speech would be remembered for just one line.>>We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.>>NARRATOR: It was a familiar demand, but one never said so publicly by the president of the United States.>>It became the headline. The headline in theNew YorkTimeswas, “President Obama endorses the ’67 borders.” The rest of the speech about the Arab Spring went virtually unreported. Now, for Israel, this was a major development.>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu’s reaction was immediate. He summoned his closest advisors for an emergency meeting.>>My secretary comes rushing in, and she goes, “Dore, the prime minister is on the phone.” I get on the phone, he goes, “Dore, where are you?” He says, “I need you to come here right now.” I walk into his office where his desk is, and he’s surrounded by his top advisors. He’s on a speakerphone to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And while I won’t go into what was said in detail, I’ll just say roughly, he was not happy.>>NARRATOR: What set Netanyahu off was that the president had made any mention of Israel’s borders before the ’67 war.>>Everyone says, “Go back to June 4, 1967,” as if that will solve all the problems. Here’s the problem: June 4, 1967 were not lines of peace. Those were lines of war. A noose of death was placed around Israel in those June 4, 1967 lines.>>NARRATOR: The White House had not briefed Netanyahu, and as it turned out, he was planning a trip to Washington the next day.>>From Netanyahu’s point of view, he was convinced that this was an attempt to ambush him, embarrass him. And put him in a situation where the president was, from Netanyahu’s point of view, weakening Israel’s negotiating position by declaring a stance on the ’67 lines. So he was furious about it.>>NARRATOR: When Netanyahu landed, his ambassador could tell there would be trouble.>>I’d never seen him like that coming out of the plane. There was no smile, there was no wave. And you can almost imagine steam coming out of his ears. His team of advisors tried to calm him down, but he had things he wanted to say to the president.>>NARRATOR: At the White House, Obama and his top advisors had heard from Hillary Clinton that Bibi was angry.>>The president asked me, “Why did Bibi react so negatively to the speech?” And I said, “Because he was surprised by it and he felt he was being put in a corner and you were trying to jam him in front of his own constituency before he came here.”>>NARRATOR: But one of the president’s top advisors says Netanyahu overreacted.>>If you look at the principles that we identified, the notion of ’67 lines with mutually agreed swaps is not at all a controversial idea. That has been the basis for every negotiation that has neared a resolution over the history of this conflict.>>NARRATOR: Just as in their first meeting, the press was summoned.>>Everybody set up? All good? Let me, first of all, welcome once again Prime Minister Netanyahu.>>NARRATOR: But this time, Bibi Netanyahu would lecture Barack Obama, taking a hard line on the peace process.>>It’s not going to happen. Everybody knows it’s not going to happen. And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly it’s not going to happen.>>I have never seen a foreign leader speak to the president like that, and certainly not in public, and I have never, certainly never seen it happen in the Oval Office.>>Israel obviously cannot be asked to negotiate with a government that is backed by the Palestinian version of al Qaeda.>>You’re watching President Obama there with his face in his hand, and you can tell it’s not going over well. This is his house, and to be lectured in his office rankles.>>We cannot go back to the 1967 lines because these lines are indefensible.>>NARRATOR: Watching it unfold, Chief of Staff Bill Daley.>>Bill Daley is standing next to me and he is going, “Outrageous, outrageous.” It’s like he’s almost levitating.>>We cannot negotiate with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas.>>That was intentional. That was done for political… for political effect. I think he came with a mind toward inflaming… inflaming the relationship.>>Mr. President, history will not give the Jewish people another chance.>>Obama was treated to a lecture on Jewish and Israeli history that just went on and on and deeply offended, deeply offended Obama and his people.>>It’s the ancient nation of Israel, and you know, we’ve been around for almost 4,000 years. We’ve experienced struggle and suffering like no other people.>>There was a sense of… gall. What gall.>>And now it falls on my shoulders as the prime minister of Israel.>>I think Netanyahu frankly had given up on Obama. He felt, “This administration from day one has disliked me, has wanted me out, has wanted me gone, so what’s the point of holding back?”>>Thank you, guys.>>The decision was made to come directly at us. I mean, imagine the president of the United States going to Jerusalem and saying things like that next to the prime minister. I mean, it was a fairly dramatic moment.>>NARRATOR: The president had a choice: try to push Netanyahu even harder or walk away from the peace process.>>I think Obama realized at that time that the price that he was paying for trying to ram something down Netanyahu’s throat that Netanyahu didn’t want to have rammed down his throat wasn’t worth it for him.>>NARRATOR: With the president’s reelection campaign looming, the Obama White House was keenly aware of the political costs of confronting Netanyahu.>>The Obama people didn’t want to give the Republicans a weapon by having open fights at this point with Netanyahu because it becomes a talking point. “You know, this is a president who’s not supportive of our great friend Israel. How can he do this to our great friend?” They were looking to negate that as an issue that might come out or be used by the Republicans against them.>>Israel’s prime minister telling President Obama exactly what he thought…>>NARRATOR: The Palestinians who had once cheered Obama’s election now watched with disappointment.>>His approach has been to send signals, but to never follow up his signals with actual action. He didn’t back up his statements against settlements with actual actions and saying to the Israelis, “You have to make a choice now. Do you want these settlements, or do you want the money that we give you every year?” It’s always just been one signal after another signal after another signal, and this isn’t an area that deals well with signals; this is an area that requires concrete action.>>NARRATOR: Indeed under Obama, the United States has continued to provided Israel with as much as than $3 billion a year in military aid. Netanyahu had stood up to the American president. The peace process was on hold. Now he could focus on an issue he believed was more pressing: the fear that Iran was building a nuclear weapon.>>Bibi Netanyahu has said 1,000 times, if once, that Iran not only is an enemy of Israel, but would literally use those nuclear weapons against us. Never again are we going to put ourselves in a position of allowing an outside force to use overwhelming power to kill us, to try to wipe us out. It’s not going to happen.>>We are thinking Iran, a regime which represents extremist Islamic ideology that would not accept our right to exist at all, that denies the Holocaust, trying to achieve a nuclear weapon? I mean…>>NARRATOR: And in meeting after meeting, Netanyahu’s military and intelligence services delivered the bad news.>>We’re seeing Iran racing ahead to produce the fissile material necessary for nuclear weapons. They had not only low enriched uranium, but they were starting to pile up more and more bombs’ worth of low enriched uranium. And we could see that month after month, that number was getting higher and higher.>>NARRATOR: His defense minister, Ehud Barak, once a rival, was now on his side. Iran, Barak said, was entering “the zone of immunity.”>>The zone of immunity was that place on the timeline after which the Iranian nuclear sites are going to be immune from Israeli firepower.>>There were a number of clocks ticking. One clock was the rate at which Iran was enriching uranium. Another clock was the rate at which they would complete the enrichment and move underground, at which point it’d be too late.>>NARRATOR: They ordered the Israeli military to plan for a direct strike on Iran’s nuclear program.>>In the first three months of 2012, everything was ready. Huge military buildup, including land bases in other countries, intelligence cooperation, advanced weaponry.>>Breaking news…>>There’s breaking news aboutthe possibility of an Israeliattack on…>>Israelis have been talkingabout a so-called “zone ofimmunity”…>>Panetta believes Israel willstrike Iran in April, May…>>Israelis say Iran has alreadyproduced enough uranium…>>NARRATOR: But in the White House secure basement Situation Room, they were receiving no word on when or if Netanyahu would order the strike.>>Mounting tonight that Israelis ready to attack Iran…>>NARRATOR: Communications had broken down between the president and prime minister.>>The American military planners were assuming every night when they went to sleep that they would wake up to an Israeli attack.>>The Israeli government certainly looked like they were practicing an attack. They did a military exercise in which they flew from Israel out over the sea exactly the distance you would have to go to hit Natanz and the other major nuclear sites in Iran. And that really set off a lot of alarms in the United States.>>NARRATOR: As the tension mounted, the president’s top advisors warned that an Israeli strike could ignite a war in the Middle East.>>Any military action would have precipitated, in our view, a much broader conflict with Iran. Iran would have been likely to respond with proxies. And that likely would have led to a chain of events where the United States is at war with Iran.>>You could imagine: Israel attacks Iran in order to do damage to its nuclear program. Iran now fires missiles at Israel. There’s a large casualty toll. It continues. What does the United States do?>>NARRATOR: For Barack Obama, the decision to initiate a war with Iran was now in the hands of Benjamin Netanyahu.>>I think the president was resigned to the idea that if Israel went and attacked and then needed help finishing the job or protecting itself, there wasn’t any real choice that the president of the United States was going to go in and help.>>NARRATOR: But as the possibility of a strike grew, Netanyahu had a problem. The Israeli military was nervous about attacking Iran on its own.>>There are all kinds of figures in the Israeli security establishment, big military figures, who all think that it would be crazy, to say nothing… counterproductive, dangerous, ruinous, for Israel to attack Iran.>>NARRATOR: With his military wary about a unilateral strike, Netanyahu reluctantly asked Obama for up-front assurance that if Israel went ahead, the U.S. would back them up.>>What Netanyahu wants is either a green light or a yellow light to go bomb the Iranian program, and the knowledge that if the Iranians retaliated against Israel, Obama would be right with him to get into that conflict. And Obama wasn’t going to give him that.>>NARRATOR: At just this time, the president’s reelection campaign was beginning.>>President Obama’s approvalratings have hit an all-timelow…>>Obama is under 50%…>>NARRATOR: In the early going, he was in trouble.>>No president has beenreelected with this type…>>NARRATOR: So Netanyahu decided to take his argument for striking Iran directly to the American voters.>>We’ve seen his approvalratings on the economy dip…>>Netanyahu had his maximum leverage in the summer and fall of 2012. This is the point of maximum Israeli power on the issue.>>The White House and the president come to believe that Bibi is using an election year to try to leverage him on the Iran issue. And “if you’re not going to let us go militarily, then you have to go.”>>This morning, a special hour of Meet the Press. An exclusive network interview with a key player in the Middle East…>>NARRATOR: On TV show after TV show, he urged Obama to commit to military action if Iran crossed a “red line.”>>I think it’s important to place a red line before them. I think it’s important to delineate a red line for Iran. A red line should be drawn right here.>>He is so convinced that he’s right on it, equally so convinced that Obama is dead wrong. And if he can persuade more and more people, America can somehow change its mind.>>Don’t let these fanatics have nuclear weapons.>>It puts enormous pressure on the president, enormous pressure on the White House.>>NARRATOR: But Netanyahu’s media blitz did little to persuade the president.>>When Netanyahu pushes Obama, it causes Obama’s neck to stiffen further. And when Obama pushes Netanyahu, it sends him toward his corner. So it’s all wrapped up in the dysfunction between these two men.>>NARRATOR: By the fall of 2012, at the United Nations, Obama wouldn’t even sit in the same room with Netanyahu.>>There was an attempt to set a meeting between the prime minister and the president in September at the U.N. when they’re both at the General Assembly, and the president won’t take the meeting.>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu decided to do something no other Israeli prime minister had done: appear to actively support the president’s opponent.>>How are you, my friend? Good to see you. Thanks so much for making time to say hello. You’re very kind.>>It was a remarkable scene. You’ve never seen an Israeli prime minister get as directly involved in a political campaign as this one.>>Governor Romney, Mitt, it’s a pleasure to welcome you in Jerusalem. We’ve known each other for many decades. We were so young then, and for some reason, you still look young. I don’t know how you do it.>>It’s a real gamble for Netanyahu to embrace Mitt Romney the way he does. I mean, it’s a relatively brazen interference, in effect, in an American election.>>NARRATOR: And Netanyahu’s wealthy Jewish supporters in America initiated a media campaign.>>The world tells Israel,“Wait, there’s still time.”>>NARRATOR: The ad targeted Jewish voters in Florida.>>And I say, “Wait for what?Wait until when?”>>The world needs Americanstrength…>>NARRATOR: At the White House, administration officials said Netanyahu had crossed the line.>>It was, I think, pretty clear that Netanyahu was now working with the Republicans to try to defeat him.>>There is no doubt in my mind that he was, he and Dermer, had placed their bet on the Republicans winning in 2012.>>The voters vote,the counters count…>>NARRATOR: On election night, Netanyahu watched with anticipation.>>Campaign 2012.>>We’re closing in on the firstresults in the battle for theWhite House…>>I know for a fact that on election night, you know, the champagne bottles, metaphorically, were on ice. They were waiting. They were absolutely convinced that the world could not fail to see things as they did, and therefore Romney would almost certainly win.>>This is an ABC News…>>NARRATOR: But as the results came in, Obama won state after state.>>Here we are, Ohio is in.We are projecting thebattleground state…>>The Israeli government analysis was that Romney was going to win.>>You are looking at thepresident of the United States.>>NARRATOR: Again, Obama received an overwhelming Jewish vote: 69%.>>Netanyahu was one of the last people, really last people, like midnight U.S. time on election night, to sort of say, “Oh, I guess he really didn’t have it.” He was like a Fox News bitter ender in that sense.>>NARRATOR: In victory, Obama decided America would handle Iran without Israel.>>I think in that period, the air went out of the balloon. I think the president has essentially written off Netanyahu.>>NARRATOR: Obama wanted to talk with Iran, and saw an opportunity to show diplomacy would be more effective than Netanyahu’s confrontational approach.>>Obama comes to office on the theory that we should talk to our enemies, right? And Iran is among them. Yes, Iran is a hostile country. Yes, Iran is sponsoring terrorism. But if we don’t find ways to connect with them, there’s no way to counter them. And sitting down to talk, to him, is a rational, reasonable thing to do.>>NARRATOR: Obama told his staff to engage in a series of secret negotiations with Iran, and he ordered them not to tell Netanyahu.>>There was concern that there were enough Israelis hostile to the very notion of a channel with Iran that it wouldn’t remain private and it would get blown up politically before we had a chance to explore whether it would work.>>NARRATOR: The secret meetings continued for months in the Gulf state of Oman. But Israeli intelligence soon found out, and they were monitoring the travels of William Burns and Jake Sullivan, the U.S. negotiators.>>Israeli intelligence learns that the United States has a secret back channel of negotiation with Iran in Oman, in Muscat. And when it learned about this, of course Benjamin Netanyahu was furious.>>It was a type of implosion. We’re confronted with this reality in which our principal ally has negotiated behind our backs for seven months with our worst enemy. Now, that is hard to square.>>Benjamin Netanyahu sees this highly sensitive, secretive intelligence coming from Tehran. The Iranians are happy, the American delegates are making concession after concession, and it leads, I think naturally, to harshen the line against the U.S. government and say, “This is a very bad deal. You are going to make a very bad deal.”>>Secretary of State John Kerryarrives in Israel today…>>His next stop, Israel…>>NARRATOR: Just as outlines of a secret deal became public, Secretary of State John Kerry made a stopover in Israel. Netanyahu rushed to Ben Gurion Airport for a face-to-face meeting with Kerry.>>We felt it’s ridiculous, unjustified, immoral. It’s going to be more of the same and worse than the same.>>NARRATOR: While Kerry waited in the first-class lounge, Netanyahu stopped for a word with the press.>>I understand the Iranians are walking around very satisfied, as well they should be, because they got everything and paid nothing. This is a very bad deal, and Israel utterly rejects it.>>NARRATOR: Then Netanyahu headed for Kerry. He did not hold back.>>It was just Kerry and Netanyahu, but I was outside the room and I could hear it. I could hear it, that’s for sure. He had a really strong sense of betrayal. He was furious. When Bibi gets upset, he starts screaming and pounding the table. And so it was one of those moments.>>NARRATOR: But he was not done. Before leaving, Netanyahu went before the cameras one more time.>>This is a bad deal, a very, very bad deal. It’s the deal of the century for Iran; it’s a very dangerous and bad deal for peace in the international community.>>NARRATOR: Later that day, Netanyahu summoned Obama’s former advisor Dennis Ross.>>Bibi asked me to come and see him on Friday evening at the prime minister’s residence. So it was Shabbat evening. And I get there and I have to wait about close to an hour because he’s on the phone with the president.>>NARRATOR: In an emergency phone call from Air Force One, Obama tried to calm Netanyahu down and persuade him that a deal with Iran would make Israel safer. But it didn’t work.>>As many times as I have dealt with Bibi, I had never seen him this way. He wasn’t angry, but he was… The only way I can put it is that he was feeling alarmed. Not angry, but alarmed. And the first thing he says to me is, “The president has decided he has no choice but to do a deal with the Iranians, force us off the table.” And I said, “He didn’t say that to you.” He said, “He did.” I said, “No, he didn’t say that to you.” He said, “He did.”>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu believed the Iranians would only respond to the threat of force. To him, if that was not an option, Obama was surrendering to the Iranians.>>I have no recollection of the president ever telling Prime Minister Netanyahu that the military option is off the table. The president was saying, “Look, we have an opportunity here to get more through diplomacy than we could accomplish even through taking military action.” And that’s an argument he’s had with the prime minister multiple times over the course of the last two years now.>>Bibi was convinced of what he had heard. He wasn’t saying he said those exact words, but he interpreted what he heard as if the president, “You know, there’s too much war weariness in the States, I don’t have the option of using force. This is the only option I have.”>>NARRATOR: Ross reached out to Secretary of State John Kerry.>>I actually contacted Kerry and said, “Look, you have a problem here. It has to be fixed.” He said, “I’ll call him.” I said, “No, it shouldn’t be you. The problem isn’t you. The problem is what Bibi thinks where the president is. This needs to be fixed by the White House.” And it wasn’t. He didn’t get a call.>>President Obama began theselling job for the nucleardeal with Iran…>>NARRATOR: Instead, Obama went to the American people to sell a deal that would impose limits on Iran’s nuclear program and allow international inspections in exchange for lifting sanctions.>>From the perspective of U.S.interests, it is far betterif we can get a diplomaticsolution.For the first time in a decade,we’ve halted the progresson Iran’s nuclear program.Key parts of the programwill be rolled back.A comprehensive agreement thatprevents a nuclear-armed Iran,secures America and our allies,including Israel, whileavoiding yet another MiddleEast conflict.>>Tough talk, as the presidentof the United States is tryingto pull a major sales job…>>For Obama, this is his chance at a legacy in the Middle East, which has been very, very frustrating for him. Iran is so central to his legacy and his perception of American national interests.>>Iran has agreed totemporarily freeze key parts…>>NARRATOR: In March 2015, as the president and Iranians were on the verge of signing a deal…>>Green-light an historicdeal…>>NARRATOR: Benjamin Netanyahu, running out of time, arrived in Washington to make that controversial speech urging Congress to block the deal.>>You can see him walking bywith Dana, maybe he’ll stop.>>See, Netanyahu has already given up on Obama, he looks at Washington and says, “Who can I find as an ally? Well, the Republicans now control both houses of Congress, and in effect, he decides to make common cause with them.>>It’s a big day on CapitolHill.Israel Prime Minister BenjaminNetanyahu will addressCongress.>>Mr. Speaker! The prime minister of Israel.>>NARRATOR: He could count on the Republican Party to be against the president and enlisted AIPAC– the powerful American Israeli Public Affairs Committee– to go on the attack.>>For him to go on such a tear and denounce it and line AIPAC up to spend $20 million to try to defeat it is a huge mistake. If he loses, the president will have shown that he can stand up to Israel and the vaunted Israeli lobby, and that will be a lesson for a long time.>>I want to thank you all for being here today. I know that my speech has been the subject of much controversy.>>NARRATOR: A large number of Democrats boycotted the speech, choosing to stand by the president.>>You have this great drama of American politics. You have the drama of a Republican Congress who almost seems to want to have Bibi Netanyahu as its leader rather than Barack Obama.>>Today, the Jewish people face another attempt by yet another Persian potentate to destroy us.>>I think this is for him the fight of his life. He is no longer rational about it. A rational prime minister of Israel, understanding the importance of the U.S./Israel relationship, would not confront the president on the most important agreement that he has managed to negotiate in his presidency.>>We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation, and terror.>>NARRATOR: It was rhetoric he had perfected over decades, delivered to a receptive crowd. 26 standing ovations. But in the end, it would not be enough.>>May God bless the State of Israel, and may God bless the United States of America.>>NARRATOR: Without the Democrats, the Republicans alone could not stop the deal. On the one issue he cared most about, Netanyahu would fail.>>If, God forbid, it goes bad in ten years’ time, or 20 years, I think that we will all go back to these years, from 2009 to 2015, and we will be deeply saddened by the fact that there wasn’t the ability to rise to the challenge, to work together, to get over the bad blood, to get over the mistrust.>>Yet another attack in theviolence between Israelisand Palestinians…>>…seen an upsurge inviolence in occupied territoryand in Israel itself…>>NARRATOR: In the months that followed, violence returned to Israel and the Palestinian territories.>>Pushed tensions betweenIsraelis and Palestiniansto a boiling point…>>You do not have an Israeli or Palestinian leader right now, or an American president, frankly, who’s prepared to pay the price of what it would take to lay the basis for a conflict-ending agreement of the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict.>>Every bus station, everystreet corner is the scene ofpotential attack…>>NARRATOR: The president who had sought to bridge differences can do little now but watch as the conflict continues.>>And they’re just the latestvictims in a wave ofviolence…>>The great dream he has when he comes into office that he’ll be the president who finally solves this, he basically tosses that aside. And he admits it. He thought that if he simply sat people down at a table, that they would be reasonable and they could figure this out. And that was just obviously not going to be the case.>>Israeli officials arestepping up securitymeasures…>>NARRATOR: Netanyahu had promised Israelis security through strength, but still presides over a fearful country uncertain about its future.>>It was so needed that the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel will work together in an intimate way.>>The peace process has beendead now for more than a year.>>The fact that this never happened, that it was all bitterness and suspicion and political boxing, it’s a very sad chapter of history.>>Frontlineis made possible by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you. Thank you. And by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major support forFrontlineis provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. More information is available at Additional support is provided by the Park Foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. The John and Helen Glessner Family Trust, supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. The Ford Foundation, working with visionaries on the front lines of social change worldwide, at The Wyncote Foundation. And by theFrontlineJournalism Fund, with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler. Captioned by Media Access Group at WGBH>>For more on this and other Frontlineprograms, visit ourwebsite at’s“Netanyahu at War”is available on DVD.To order, visit,or call 1-800-play-PBS.Frontlineis also available fordownload on iTunes.

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  1. Obama never solved a difficult issue in his life and he was going to solve the Palestinian crisis? Lol, he was surrounded by only leftists his entire career.

  2. Beautiful Israel needs a better leader and so the United States especially in 2020. I believe that the whole world should be in peace ☮️ and these leaders should stop riskin people's lives with there stupid political movements, the poor people he's the one that ends up killing themselves for decades and decades and they're ridiculous leaders still alive!!! Not fair! That's the same exact reason which I don't vote and never will!!!!!

  3. The Beast of Babylon, the Obamination, has been replaced by the Righteous King Cyrus.
    God has sent his servant Benjamin to lead Israel in its hour of need.
    Together, they will defeat the wicked Islamic Global Jihad.

  4. That guy is Ol school and very fierce with an aggressive agenda to protect that part of land. He has that Putin attitude. Hope he get s nicer and prove me wrong but I see more fighting over there with him in the lead…His past troubled relations with US was that the US would always try to desolve escalations while he needs the assistance in combative concerns of US not putting in their help in that form. The US always try to avoid assisting too much military assistance both in personnel and weapons…

  5. As,Iranian,,we are love Israel our long long,s friend,s,we dont want islamic governmen in Iran,we dont want Russian,chieas,BRITISH LORD,S THIFE,AND French or any other,we dont want khomani or khameni mother fucker in IRAN


  7. Arab,s is comen enmey,plastinian trorist is dstury my iran,we hit arab plastinian trorist,,,thanks to ISRAEL,MR NATANYAHU WE ARE IRANIAN LOVE U,GOD BLESS U,,,,LONG LIVE THE KING


  9. Nerd porn for Obama supporters…lmao..he droned half the muslim world! What fantasy land do Leftists live in?


  11. Go bibi go yeah stick to your guns brother you are one of the most powerful men on this planet ordained buy god himself you have my vote bibi

  12. Obama slouching in his chair casting his eyes downward with such disrespect! Little did he know on that day PM NETANYAHU intended teaching Obama a lesson he would not forget!!!

  13. When does the regret for supporting Israeli Statehood set in? When Israel interferes with American internal Politics. A short term Victory for long term resentment. He’s American when it suits him and Israeli when it suits him. Dual citizenship will come back to haunt us. Your making your problem, our problem. Not good……Vietnam Vet USN

  14. Why so mad nethanyu wot is upset your eyes wot is annoying you yourself??? What do you think you are really doing

  15. Obama , wot a joke how can a man of his cailaba make such a statement, I'm glad he gone no balls that's wot it is least trump and bibi have a big set of balls

  16. The world has helped these fake jews steal a story that they had nothing to do with. The arabs don't belong there either the black people of this land should come together and put them all out of Africa. Yes I said Africa the middle east doesn't exist, It was made up so the world can continue to practice the hate of black people around the world. The people spoke about in the bible are black one day you will all see and Gods wrath will rain down on all of them.

  17. Obamas economic and foreign policy really sucks. such a shame first black president but failed to the expectations, he is incompetent and a traditional politician of speaking decently in front but on the back lets his people corrupt whatever they can.

  18. They say Netanyahu has got balls for going to washington and lecturing obama about Israel. Well netanyahus just defending his nation. whats insulting if hes lecturing obama about the American People. this onion skinned Americans full of pride. lol when a nation lectures yall about themselves deal with it.

  19. Why in USA, are separation between churh and state excep between muslem and state? Why the aproach of Obama is muslem and US and not, arab world and US, and no body said nothing about it?

  20. Netanyahu is the most Evil man on Earth, a Terrorist, a Nazi agent, a Mass Murderer, a Fascist and a Zionist all combine. He is the Real Enemy of Jews.
    He can be compared a higher then Hitler, and Indian Narender Modi/ Amit shah pair.

  21. Congatulations to win again PM post! Please make to secular democracy and gangship like Indian congress and bjps like stop. Cartik

  22. The regressive left and islamonazis freak out by the idea of a strong Jew .
    Israel and BiBi make these losers crap their pants

  23. Barak Obama's policies toward Israel were horrible, wrong from every perspective & wrong from every angle, destined to failure.

  24. Like Yitzhak rabin our Mahatma Gandhi too was killed as they both decided to seek conciliation and peace from that religion and enemy country who would only betray.
    That's why nationalist killed the both

  25. its not hard to work out who the real terrorists are , eventually the Americans will work out who was behind the 9/11 attacks , anxd Israeli will eventually face justice , sadly western taxpayers will waste all their wealth trying to protect the real terrorists for as long as possible , but one western taxpayers run out of money even they will accept the truth and only then can we see any hope of peace , and Palestine can be restored in their home land , so very sad to see so many people being deceived by the war criminal running Israel .

  26. The business of peace to buy the future of eternity is a evil game of power where God's promise of eternal life in Paradise is further established in the Eucharist for the computer gospel and the history of the peace process saved with Benedict as witness. Science is of God and has a policy of God Creator because the bomb has another promise than the computer with the final destruction of creation or the sequel policy for the promised future of eternal life after this period of how to deal with the by God given science.

  27. tehran conference 1943 , middle east was divided between 3 winners of the wwII , in iran 1943 to 1950 ( british) 1950 to 1977 (USA) 1977 to 1987 ( BRITISH) 1987 to 2014 (RUSSIA) russia used iran as frontline and iran followed russian thoughts especially about israel because israel was a very strong wall to control and stop russian navy and their atomic submarine to inter to mediterranean sea to have access to oceans ext ext … the period of russian in iran and syria is expired and britain are in the middle east for its third period of 27 years ! thats mean iran is not and wont be in war with israel any more , putin had apologize to prime minster B netanyahu in moscow . and they drinks russian vodka and vladimir said ; nazdrovia and benjamin replied in russian : vodka pit middle east zapit ( drink your vodka and forget about middle east ) but forgot to take his ball back ! but president trump got the ball back in helsinki !

  28. Netanyahu is a war monger, as evil as Marx & the Ayatollahs. Israel should NEVER have been created back in 1940s. What a waste of opportunity and lives.

  29. What I'd like to know is, when Israel got their promised land, why didn't every single Jew on the planet move there? And why didn't the Arab nations surrounding Israel accept the Palestinians as refugees?
    Assimilate them as Muslim brothers and let Israel have this land WITH NO OIL.

  30. Gee them two suicide bombers which helped save bennies political career were extremely convenient,,just saying.

  31. keep studying these monsters my friends! soon enough 😉
    Armies in every city, definition of power, players are you with me?
    Makaveli the don

  32. They deserve their own country, they have been there 1000s of years . Why are they the ones to be forced out? If it comes down to fighting for Gods people I will, I will give my life for them to be free.

  33. All-American Farmer Ted: We need to leave the ME alone, we shouldn't even be there, y'all!

    Also All-American Farmer Ted: (humming Toby Keith in a rocking chair while cleaning and loading his AR-15 and oiling his sleeve gun whenever gas rises above $3/gallon)

    All-American President Farmer Ted: It is I who hath graced the Jewish people with my new ingenious ME peace plan. Please hold your applause until after my PowerPoint lecture is complete, I beg you.

    Also All-American President Farmer Ted: (Can't even brainstorm a road map to peace for pubescent inner city gang members in his own damn town)

  34. jews have brains there water management system in agriculture is best and have great noble prizes in their basket

  35. Israel controls USA foreign policy but America is the whipping boy. America is growing weaker weaker with the passage of time, taking into consideration that all world powers fell.

  36. Netanyahu is the King David of our time he is the brother of America as are the Israeli ppl we are one ! Obama was a disgrace to the American ppl and our way of life an imposter, and the deal with Iran was an attempt to destroy America and her brother ! F~ Barack Obama !!!

  37. This "report" is SO BIAS AGAINST ISREAL. They could at least tell both sides of the story. Frontline tells the ANTI-ISRAEL as if it is fact. It is only PART of the story, from one perspective.

  38. Let's see, Netanyahu wants to attack Iran and bomb them and he thinks that's a more peaceful solution? What does he think is going to happen? The Arab communities are just going to run scared into a dark corner and never respond? Then he gets mad because Obama didn't want to start another war with Iran…. It's clear that Netanyahu doesn't want peace, he wants to be hostile and go to war. Why is he surprised that Iran is hostile back? You don't solve complicated religious/ethnic conflicts with threats of violence and by force.

  39. Israel is a parasitic nation that freeloads off of US taxpayers. Republicans cry about socialism while providing the socialist nation of Israel with unlimited funds.

    It's time to put an stop payment on the $4 billion a year in welfare checks.

    America First!

  40. I hope that everyone realizes that these tyrants bouncing around on the chess board, are not religious and do not represent any religion other than their own inner demons.

  41. so many similarities, coincidences with Ukraine and Russia, Israel, USA i.e, 1. Revolution/Civil Unrest 2. Secret meetings in Oman 3. Kolomoiskiy (One of Ukrainian Oligarchs who is Jewish, got current Ukrainian president elected) 4. Obama didn't support Ukraine with weapons…instead worked with Iran
    For some odd reason when you look at all the facts and the people involved, points to somebody or someone pulling the strings.
    also shows whos side Obama really on….hint: not American.

  42. The daring rescue operation in the airport to free several hostages had only one casualty. Netanyahu's brother.

  43. There r some facts within the facts, never come out as part of history. But one thing is for sure especially in the case of Egypt newly emerged force toppled Mubarak was not intellectually capable to understand the will of US politics. One thing we need to understand not a single Muslim country experienced an event like the Industrial Revolution. So more or less occupied by Feudal mentalities. In the sixty's seventies, there was some Secular leadership in the middle east but those were imposed later became a tyrant. Most of the Muslims are psychologically trapped with a mixed understanding of modern state and Caliphates. Confused whether they are a citizen or part of Ummah.

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