Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) says he is “shocked” that senior Obama administration officials call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “chickensh*t.”
“I was shocked and disappointed on reading the comments in The Atlantic,” Engel said in a statement. “I call upon the Administration to reassert the importance of the relationship between the United States and Israel, and to reaffirm that the bonds between our two countries are unbreakable.
“I realize that two allies, such as the United States and Israel, are not going to agree on everything, but I think it is counterproductive and unprofessional for Administration officials to air their dirty laundry in such a public way,” he added. “I am getting tired of hearing about the leaks and denials. This ought to be the last time we hear of such talk because it is getting to a point where nobody believes the denials anymore.”
Engel is a pro-Israel Democrat but, tellingly, he didn’t call for an apology. He did not call for anyone to be ejected from the administration. He called for words to undo the damage that other words are doing.
The Obama administration, given two chances to apologize for the remark and make amends Wednesday, chose not to. And, both Josh Earnest at the White House and Jen Psaki at the State Department were clearly singing from the same sheet of music when both said that the administration would not even bother to try to find out who made the remarks. So they were operating off of official Obama administration policy, which attempted to assert that the smears are not reflective of the administration’s stance, but no one will be punished for undermining what is the official administration stance, with regard to a key ally.
There could be a behind-the-scenes effort to get to the bottom of it, if one supposes that hating Israel is not the pervasive attitude in the Obama administration. But Jeffrey Goldberg’s article in the Atlantic makes it clear, despite most readers and pundits’ failure to pick up on this, that the anti-Israel attitude is widespread in the Obama administration.
That’s right up top before the article officially starts:
The Obama administration’s anger is “red-hot” over Israel’s settlement policies, and the Netanyahu government openly expresses contempt for Obama’s understanding of the Middle East. Profound changes in the relationship may be coming.
That’s not one official — the whole administration is said to be “red-hot” against Israel.
In the article itself, we have the unnamed senior administration official dubbing Netanyahu a “chickensh*t” and another agreeing with that (in paragraph six of the story), adding that he is a “coward.” That second official brags that the Obama administration’s pressure has worked against Netanyahu, long enough to stall him and allow Iran’s nuclear program to proceed. That’s right here:
The official said the Obama administration no longer believes that Netanyahu would launch a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to keep the regime in Tehran from building an atomic arsenal. “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. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.”
“Now it’s too late,” the Obama administration official bragged, for Israel to stop Iran from building deployable nuclear weapons. Iran, by the way, has vowed in the past to use those weapons to annihilate Israel.
So that’s two Obama administration officials hiding behind anonymity while insulting Netanyahu, and one evidently tilting toward Iran.
There are more, many more, than just those two according to Goldberg.
Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery.” (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.)
How many Obama officials are on that list? Does it include the president, the vice president, current and former secretaries of state? Is it two? Is it ten? Does the list include the likes of Valerie Jarrett? How about Ben Rhodes, brother of CBS News president David Rhodes? Don’t the American people deserve to know how rife the Obama administration is with anti-Israel officials?
The question is relevant because of some recent incidents, and one from three years ago. In the recent ones, Vice President Joe Biden said some negative things about Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. He chided them for funding ISIS, which they have.
Those countries objected, and they each got personal apologies from Biden by phone.
But no apologies now for Israel.
Three years ago, a hot mic caught President Obama griping about Netanyahu with then French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
“Obama began by reproaching Sarkozy for not warning him in advance that France would vote in favour of Palestinian membership of UNESCO,” the website reported. “The conversation turned to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, with Sarkozy saying ,’I don’t want to see him anymore, he’s a liar.’
“To which President Obama replied: ‘You’ve had enough of him, but I have to deal with him every day!’ Obama then asked Sarkozy to try to convince the Palestinians to slow down with their UN membership drive.”
The Obama administration’s anti-Netanyahu attitude goes all the way to the top. That’s why the administration won’t even pretend to hunt down the officials who talked with Jeffrey Goldberg. They won’t reprimand or fire someone for saying what they’re all thinking and saying behind closed White House doors. President Obama will order Vice President Biden to apologize for saying an unpleasant but true thing about Arab countries, but will not go after anyone around him for smearing the Prime Minister of Israel. Because in his heart of hearts, Barack Obama agrees with the smear.