Senior Obama administration official reportedly calls Netanyahu chickens**t

PMO, Bennett issue statements backing Netanyahu in light of reported US criticism.

October 29, 2014 00:33
2 minute read.
Binyamin Netanyahu

Binyamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The administration of US President Barack Obama has expressed its displeasure over Israel's recent announcement that it would be building more housing units in east Jerusalem, but now reported name-calling directed at Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can be added to the tensions between the two allies. 

Jeffrey Goldberg, diplomatic correspondent for The Atlantic, reported Tuesday that he recently spoke to a senior Obama administration official about, "the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most." The unnamed official reportedly told Goldberg: “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit.”

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“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official said.

“The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he’s not [Ariel] Sharon, he’s certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He’s got no guts.”

Goldberg quoted another official who reportedly agreed with the first official's assessment but added that Netanyahu was also a "coward" on the Iranian nuclear threat issue.

The second official reportedly told Goldberg that the "Obama administration no longer believes that Netanyahu would launch a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities." 

“It’s too late for him to do anything. Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. Now it’s too late.”

“The feeling now is that Bibi’s bluffing,” the second official reportedly added.

Sources in the Prime Minister's office responded to the slurs by saying that Netanyahu will continue to remain firm on the security interests of Israeli citizens and on the Jewish people's historic rights in Jerusalem.

"No pressure will change that," the sources said.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett quickly came to Netanyahu's defense, issuing a statement saying that the prime minister of Israel is not a private person, and that cursing him is "an insult not just to him but to the millions of Israeli citizens and Jews across the globe."

"The leader of Syria who slaughtered 150,000 people was not awarded the name 'chickenshit'," he wrote. "Neither was the leader of Saudi Arabia who stones women and homosexuals or the leader of Iran who murders freedom protesters. If what appears in the press is true, then it seems that the current US administration is throwing Israel under the bus."

Bennett called on the US administration to "immediately reject these gross comments."

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