Back-door diplomacy, Godfather style

I found this little item from Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times interesting:

I’ve learned that Mayor Rahm Emanuel met Thursday with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak–who is delivering a message from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu–that he is not attempting to interfere in the U.S. elections on behalf of Mitt Romney.

Emanuel spokesman Sarah Hamilton confirmed that the meeting took place in Chicago’s City Hall.

The meeting comes after Netanyahu is seen increasingly as making statements that raising questions about Obama’s commitment to defending Israel and preventing an Iranian nuclear strke–questions that hurt Obama with Jewish voters…

Emanuel –whose father is an Israeli-American–is a logical conduit. He is the figure in the Obama orbit most familiar to the Israeli government–having served as a front-and-back channel while he was President Barack Obama’s chief of staff…

Emanuel’s father is more than that. He was a member of the Irgun. He is totally the Israeli version of a made man, a man of respect from way back.

Excuse the Godfather terminology, but that’s what this kind of unofficial, just-between-us-guys stuff reminds me of.

Look at it this way… The word’s out on the street that Netanyahu, the head of one family, has been bad-mouthing the head of another, far more powerful, family, a.k.a. POTUS. So what does he do, since the head of the bigger and more powerful family won’t have a meetin’ with him, so he can’t set things straight in person? Totally on the Q.T., he sends his capo to meet with the other don’s capo, just to talk, one man of respect to the other. The message is, My friend didn’t mean no disrespect to your friend, and certainly hasn’t thrown in with that other guy who’s giving him trouble. Please assure your friend of my friend’s undying loyalty, and remind him we have a mutual enemy, and we remain more than willing to take him out for you, even though it means we’ll take an ungodly amount of heat for it, and our whole country will probably have to go hide out in Sicily for a couple or three years afterward. So please fuhgeddabout this thing so we can take care of that other thing…

And so forth. I get carried away. But this is where my mind goes when one world leader uses such a back channel to communicate the message that that stuff he said was just business, not personal…

6 thoughts on “Back-door diplomacy, Godfather style

  1. Pat

    Netanyahu said on Meet the Press (I think it was on Meet the Press) that President Obama had met with him more than any other president and kind of shrugged off that they didn’t connect in NY saying they were both coming and going. And I read somewhere else that Romney kind of exaggerated his friendship with Netanyahu. Netanyahu was quoted as saying he barely remembered Romney when they worked at the same firm. But then maybe Netanyahu is playing a high stakes game of cards.

  2. Mark Stewart

    Bibi will always be a putz. He may not deserve a horse head, but he definitely needs to be iced by the U.S. of A. at this juncture.

  3. Tom Stickler

    You may know trivia about “The Godfather” movie, but you are truly in the dark if you think Ehud Barak is meeting with Rahm Emanuel in order to make nice on Netanyahu’s behalf.

    Bibi is all in for Romney, and Ehud is tight with Obama.

    BTW, the White House denies that Obama refused to meet with Bibi, since Bibi never asked.

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