Netanyahu Admits to ‘Dozens’ of Syria Strikes, Attacks EU in ‘Hot Mic’ Moment

Comments Were Made in Closed Door Meeting, But Microphone Was Still On

Some see it as an embarrassing blunder, while others view it as a carefully orchestrated political effort. Either way, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a series of undiplomatic comments during a closed-door meeting, the entirely of which was heard by reporters outside because Netanyahu left his microphone on.

In the course of his comments, Netanyahu confirmed “dozens” of Israeli military attacks against “Iranian-backed groups” inside Syria, a major shift from Israel’s long-standing stance of refusing to comment on virtually all reports they attacked Syria.

He also angrily attacked the European Union, calling the organization “insane”and accusing them of actively working to undermine Israel, and warning “Europe is undermining its own security by undermining Israel.” He also called former US President Obama “a big problem.”

While this risks further discrediting Israeli claims of “neutrality” on Syria, and harming Israel-EU ties in the near term, some are suggesting that Netanyahu deliberately made the comments to a live mic, believing the statements would further ingratiate him to President Trump.

The assumption is that Trump is so ideologically opposed to Europe and to the Obama Administration, that any “closed door” attack on them would please him, and further reinforce the notion that Netanyahu is on “his side” both publicly and behind the scenes.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.