A senior Obama administration official has described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “chickenshit,” expressing the US president’s frustration with the Israeli leader.
“The thing about Bibi [Netanyahu] is, he’s a chickenshit,” the unnamed official told the Atlantic when asked about the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House the most.
The official added that the good thing about Netanyahu is that “he’s scared to launch wars,” and the bad thing about him is that “he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians.”
“The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat… He’s got no guts,” the official said.
According to the Atlantic, the statement by the top Obama official indicates that relations between Washington and Tel Aviv have moved toward a “full-blown crisis.”
The United States recently criticized Israel’s plan to build more than 1,000 settler units in the occupied Palestinian lands.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that, “if Israel wants to live in a peaceful society, they need to take steps that will reduce tensions. Moving forward with this sort of action would be incompatible with the pursuit of peace.”
However, Netanyahu attacked the State Department for condemning Israeli expansion plans, saying US officials are “disconnected from reality.”
Last week, top American officials rejected requests by Israeli Military Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon for meetings with them during his visit to the United States.
The White House and State Department refused proposals for meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and Secretary of State John Kerry.
The refusal was an angry response by Washington after Ya’alon mocked Kerry’s efforts to forge a peace deal between Tel Aviv and the Palestinians.
The Israeli minister had called Kerry’s efforts for Israeli-Palestinian peace “messianic and obsessive.”
The State Department had called Ya’alon’s remarks “offensive and inappropriate.”