Frustrated by the lecture he'd received on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict during his first meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996, President Bill Clinton exploded to aides afterward -- "Who's the f***ing superpower here?"
Fast forward to May 2011. This time, Netanyahu lectured President Barack Obama (or so it was characterized by PBS) about the Middle East peace process, stunning aides and the press corps with the fact that an Israeli prime minister would talk to a US president in such fashion. But Netanyahu was so impressed with the encounter that he turned it into a campaign ad.
Two American presidents, one Israeli prime minister and a level of diplomatic chutzpah unprecedented in the history of the US-Israeli relationship.
And yet, despite the tensions of the Clinton and particularly the Obama years, Netanyahu emerged unscathed, giving up very little to Palestinians or restricting settlements -- and gaining much, especially on US military assistance. Indeed, by 2015, blatantly casting his lot with Republicans in opposing the Iran nuclear deal, Netanyahu had already set the stage for his four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump.
So, why should Netanyahu be afraid of Joe Biden?
The short answer is he shouldn't.