The White House’s outrage over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to speak before Congress in March — a move he failed to coordinate with the administration — began to seep through the diplomatic cracks on Friday, with officials telling Haaretz the Israeli leader had “spat” in President Barack Obama’s face.
“We thought we’ve seen everything,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed senior US official as saying. “But Bibi managed to surprise even us.
“There are things you simply don’t do. He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price,” he said. [What, beyond giving Iran the bomb? — Ed]
Officials in Washington said that the “chickenshit” epithet — with which an anonymous administration official branded Netanyahu several months ago — was mild compared to the language used in the White House when news of Netanyahu’s planned speech came in.
I look forward to Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic Voxsplaining how Obama isn’t really anti-Israel. Because nothing says loyalty and friendship like calling a trusted ally “chickenshit.”
A wise man who once said, “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother” shouldn’t be surprised that others keep score as well.
Update: I’m surprised the “unnamed senior US official” didn’t accuse Netanyahu of stabbing Obama in the back, a metaphor that would send the administration that began its second term promising “Peace in our time” full circle.