If an ambassador is, as Henry Wotton put it, an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country, so the niceties of diplomacy require political leaders to, not to put too fine a point on it, lie through their teeth. Benjamin Netanyahu was, one assumes, among the world leaders who called President Obama to congratulate him on his re-election. The words “gritted” and “teeth” spring to mind. It is unlikely that President Obama took Mr Netanyahu at his word. And it is even less likely that the Israeli Prime Minister will ever actually tell the US President what he must really think about his re-election.