Leaders’ streams

January 21, 2013

It is rare to get direct access to the innermost thoughts of a nation's leader but global statesmen appear to have been letting their streams of consciousness flow recently. This week we learned the extent of Barack Obama's contempt for Benjamin Netanyahu; he is so weary of Israeli policies that he "didn't even bother getting angry" when the E1 settlement plan was announced.

We now also know, as if anyone could be surprised, that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is an antisemite in the classic mould, calling Jews "apes and pigs" in an interview in 2010. Conversely, despite the fact that he has no mandate to voice his political beliefs, President Shimon Peres has let rip with his disappointment with Mr Netanyahu in a variety of recent interviews. The man whose innermost thoughts we most need to discover, however, is the chameleon-in-chief Benjamin Netanyahu.

He has played a well-executed - if troubling - political hand by leveraging Israeli fears on security to reinforce support for his positions on issues such as the peace process. But we are none the wiser, yet, if this is mere campaign positioning or an accurate reflection of his deep-seated views. We will know more when he starts putting together his coalition next week.

Last updated: 11:09am, January 21 2013