The Levant – By Julia Lugovska –
US and Israeli relationships deteriorate rapidly in the recent times and have plunged to the new depths of hostility as senior Obama Administration officials slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and decried his in the recent interviews as a “chickenshit prime minister” and a “coward” who cares more about his own political future than about the country and peace process in the whole region.
The furious assessment was delivered in the anonymous comments in an interview with US journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, who is a Washington insider and who had the chance to interview both US President Barak Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also warned that the current Israeli-US relationships are significantly deteriorating and that this crisis could only get worse in the future.
The bitter comments of US officials about Mr. Netanyahu underline the dismal state of relationships between Israel and US after series of the recent announcements of Israel including Israeli determination to continue development and expanding of the new settlements network in occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank, the Arab territories. In addition to that Israeli officials show no real wish and determination to resolve the deepening crisis in the relationships with Palestine and there is no progress in the peaceful process in Middles East.
The situation remains tense after Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon was pointedly snubbed by US senior administration officials during his visit to Washington over the recent Israeli policies and warned Israel of risking to lose its “closest allies”.
Despite the deepening frustration in US, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued the settlement policies, saying that the US comments were “detached from reality” and that this is an issue of Israeli security and defending the country.
Speaking to Knesset, Israeli Parliament, hours after the US officials’ remarks were revealed, Mr. Netanyahu insisted that he appeared to be under attack just for defending Israel.
“The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,” said one of the Obama administration officials quoted by Atlantic, where the controversial interview was published. “The good thing about Netanyahu is that he is scared to launch wars. 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,” continued the official.
The only one thing Benjamin Netanyahu is interested in, is protecting himself, his position and his political future, according to the comments.
In more diplomatic and officials statement US National Security Council Speaker Alistair Baskey stated that US officials will continue criticizing Israel and Israeli current policies. There are the issues where US administration disagree with the Israeli administration and would raise its concerns over these issues, such as the settlements policy. US raise these concerns as a partner who is deeply concerned about Israel’s future and security and wants to see Israel living in peace with the neighboring states, according to the US administration.
These comments about Israeli Prime Minister were the latest in the series of high-profile spats between US and Israeli government. Relations between the two states started to deteriorate rapidly after Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon accused US Secretary of State John Kerry of “being obsessive and messianic” regarding the peace deal between Israel and Palestine. John Kerry in his turn stated later in his unofficial remarks that Israel is risking to become an apartheid state due to its current policies.
Benjamin Netanyahu though stated in his speech delivered in Knesset that he is not ready to make any decisions which could be in interest of the partners but which could endanger Israel. He also claimed he appeared to be under attack just for backing Israeli national interest and for defending the state. In addition to that Mr. Netanyahu stated he appreciates and cherish connections with US and that the strategic alliance between the two states will continue.
Though the recently revealed Obama administration comments about Benjamin Netanyahu sparked criticism and outrage among many Israeli officials, claiming it was clearly and insult of the highest person of Israeli politics and of Israeli citizens as well, and that such comments and remarks made by US officials indicate only that the current US administration plans “to throw Israel under the bus”, as Israeli far-right Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said.