|Rabbi Marvin Hier|
Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has called on President Barack Obama to “name, apologize for, and repudiate” the anonymous official who was quoted, in an Atlantic Magazine article by Jeffrey Goldberg, describing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “chickenshit.”
In a telephone call with The Algemeiner from his Los Angeles office, an incensed Rabbi Hier declared: “It is rather ironic that a senior American official is prepared to curse his friends, yet when it comes to the mortal enemies of the United States – as the Iranians discovered during the recent nuclear negotiation – praise is heaped on them.”
Another senior official, Goldberg wrote, “agreed that Netanyahu is a ‘chickenshit’ on matters related to the comatose peace process, but added that he’s also a ‘coward’ on the issue of Iran’s nuclear threat.”
Commenting on the remarks of this second official, Hier asserted: “He said Netanyahu is a coward for not taking pre-emptive action against Iran, but I suppose this anonymous official who is hiding behind his desk is very brave.”
Asked whether he thought Obama should fire the officials who made these comments, Hier said “that’s up to the president.” However, he added, “a senior American official who doesn’t name himself and then hurls curse words at one of our strongest allies should be repudiated by the president. President Obama needs to make it clear that these officials don’t speak for him. Most of all, an apology is in order: That is not the way a senior American official should speak to the Prime Minister of Israel, that is not the way to conduct foreign policy.”
Hier noted that similar sentiments were not forthcoming from the administration about Qatar, a putative American ally that nevertheless backs Hamas and has allegedly been a conduit for funding the Islamic State terrorist organization. “There are no curse words on or off the record about the emir of Qatar for supporting Hamas and supporting Islamic State,” Hier noted. “The emir of Qatar is being rewarded for supporting Hamas and Islamic State. He is certainly not being treated in the way that Netanyahu is now.”
Cursing Israel’s prime minister - Jennifer Rubin
The [anonymous official's] statement is ignorant or an intentionally false accusation on so many different levels it is hard to know where to begin.
Netanyahu has confirmed Israel will pursue a two-state solution, voluntarily entered into a housing freeze and has been willing to negotiate without precondition. Moreover, it is not simply the far right but the large majority of Israelis who now see the Oslo process as a failure. From the Labor Party to Likud, the political spectrum in Israel on this issue is in sync. And finally, Israel is getting along fine with the Sunni states, better than the latter are with the Obama administration, since both understand the threat posed by Iran and its surrogates.
The immature and deplorable insult is nothing all that new. Whether it is former negotiator Martin Indyk accusing Israel of killing the peace process or the president off-mike complaining about having to deal with Netanyahu constantly, the administration’s animosity is never far from the surface. That such a senior official could feel so confident in his slur says volumes about the environment at the White House. Even more telling, a White House spokesman would only say that the comments were “inappropriate and counterproductive,” not false or unfair or outrageous.
This is yet one more reason to rebuke the president, his foreign policy and his staff. If the president were truly upset about the speech, he would find the staff member who made the remarks and fire that person. By the White House’s initial statement, however, it seems like business as usual around there.
Netanyahu is a 'chickensh*t'? - Rabbi Abraham Cooper
A top, unnamed Obama administration official calls an important leader, a “chickensh*t.”
Was this a hard-nosed warning aimed at the Ayatollah Khamenei to pressure Iran to destroy those 23,000 centrifuges before next month’s nuclear negotiating deadline?
Or just maybe, a well-deserved barb at our Turkish “ally” Erdoğan to stop acting like a regional bully and more like the eastern guardian of NATO?
Of course not. No one in this White House or State Department would ever deign to insult America’s enemies. Unfortunately, and all too often such special treatment has been dished out against our only reliable friend and ally in a region that is rapidly self-destructing—Israel.