Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu shakes hands with US President Barack Obama at the White House.
(photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration rejects the characterization of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu as "chickenshit," an insult to the premier's leadership and character leveled anonymously by a senior administration official on Tuesday, as reported by the Atlantic.
"Certainly that's not the administration's view, and we think such comments are inappropriate and counter-productive," National Security Council spokesperson Alistair Baskey said in an e-mail. "Prime Minister Netanyahu and the president have forged an effective partnership, and consult closely and frequently, including earlier this month when the president hosted the prime minister in the Oval Office."
The quote in the piece published by Jeffrey Goldberg, a prominent columnist on matters of interest to the Israeli and American Jewish communities, led coverage of most Israeli news outlets on Wednesday morning.
Other insults were leveled against Netanyahu, including that he is "Asbergery" and generally a "coward" for avoiding open war with Iran over its nuclear program.
"Obviously, despite the extremely close relationship between the US and Israel, we do not agree on every issue," Baskey added. "For instance, we have repeatedly made clear the United States’ longstanding view that settlement activity is illegitimate and complicates efforts to achieve a two-state solution.
Netanyahu responded on Wednesday morning saying that he was under "attack" for his broad defense of Israel.
The US-Israel relationship remains "as strong as ever," Baskey continued. But last night Baskey also noted: "We raise these concerns as a partner who is deeply concerned about Israel’s future and wants to see Israel living side by side in peace and security with its neighbors."
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