US criticism of Israeli actions in the West Bank have drawn a furious response from Israel this week, including a former official dismissing the US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro as a "little Jew boy."
Aviv Bushinsky, a former adviser to Netanyahu and a frequent commentator on Israeli TV, said during a debate on Channel 2 Wednesday: "To put it bluntly, it was a statement typical of a little Jew boy," he said, using the derogatory Hebrew term "yehudoni" to describe the ambassador, who is in his mid-40s.
Asked to respond to Bushinsky's remarks, the US embassy declined to comment.
Bushinsky served as Netanyahyu's spokesperson during the latter's first stint as Prime Minister from 1998 to 1999. He later served as his chief of staff from 2003-2004 when Netanyahu served as Finance Minister.
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister’s Office dismissed as “unacceptable and wrong” an uncharacteristically sharp public criticism of Israel’s legal standards leveled by Shapiro, who said there seems at times to be one standard of law in the West Bank for Israelis, and another for Palestinians.
“As Israel’s devoted friend and its most stalwart partner, we believe that Israel must develop stronger and more credible responses to questions about the rule of law in the West Bank,” Shapiro said Monday during an address at the annual Institute for Strategic Studies Conference in Tel Aviv.
The incident did not mark the first time that the same insult was used against a US envoy to Israel. In 2002, National Union MK Zvi Hendel caused a stir when he referred to then-US ambassador Daniel Kurtzer as a "Yehudon." Hendel's comments came after Kurtzer said Israel should allocate funds for the disabled and not for Jewish settlements.