As Israel’s relationship with its critical ally enters ‘full-blown crisis,’ The Atlantic reports, senior American officials refer to Israeli PM as a ‘chickenshit,’ hell-bent on career preservation
(SOURCE) American anger at the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “red hot” and the relationship between Israel and the US is now in a “full-blown crisis,” The Atlantic reported Tuesday.
The piece, by Jeffrey Goldberg, observed the extraordinarily harsh tone now used in increasingly regular and open fashion by Obama administration officials in reference to Jerusalem leaders, chiefly among them Netanyahu. One senior administration official was quoted by the publication as calling the Israeli prime minister “a chickenshit,” referring to what he saw as the premier’s pandering to his political base for fear of electoral defeat, his refusal to make any diplomatic headway with the Palestinians and moderate Arab states, and his fear of initiating wars.
US officials increasingly see the Israeli leader as acting out of a “near-pathological desire for career-preservation” and not much more, the article claimed.
“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the senior official said, referring to the prime minister’s ongoing — but so far unrealized — threats to strike Iran to stop its nuclear program. “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.”
Diplomatic rhetoric has heated up in recent days as the US used strong terms to condemn Netanyahu’s Monday approval for a thousand new homes in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Israel’s continued building across the Green Line was “incompatible with their stated desire to live in a peaceful society.”
But Netanyahu rebuffed the criticism from American, European and Palestinian leaders.
“We have built in Jerusalem, we are building in Jerusalem and we will continue to build in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “I have heard a claim that our construction in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem makes peace more distant. It is the criticism which is making peace more distant.”