White House tries to walk back 'chickenshit'

Brian Hughes
The Washington Examiner

The White House on Wednesday went into damage control over a senior administration official’s description of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “chickenshit,” saying the remarks were “counterproductive.”

“Comments like that do not reflect the administration’s views,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest, calling the U.S.-Israeli relationship “as strong as ever.”

However, the Obama-Netanyahu relationship has always been frosty, and the latest insult further strains ongoing talks between the two leaders about how to address widespread unrest in the Middle East.

In a story published by the Atlantic Tuesday, senior administration officials framed Netanyahu as a cowardly politician solely motivated by self-interest…

…As the White House tried to brush off the widely circulated insult, Republicans used the episode to rake Obama over the coals for comments they see as indicative of his attitude towards Israel…



The complete article is at The Washington Examiner.



Related:   Obama, Not Bibi, Created U.S.-Israel Crisis

…It’s quite an indictment but once you get beyond the personal dislike of the individual on the part of the president, Secretary of State Kerry, and any other “senior officials” that speak without attribution on the subject of Israel’s prime minister, all you have is a thin veil of invective covering up six years of Obama administration failures in the Middle East that have the region more dangerous for both Israel and the United States. For all of his personal failings, it is not Netanyahu—a man who actually served as a combat soldier under fire in his country’s most elite commando unit—who is a coward or a small-minded failure. It is Obama and Kerry who have fecklessly sabotaged a special relationship, an act whose consequences have already led to disaster and bloodshed and may yet bring worse in their final two years of power…

…If there is a crisis, it is one that was created by Obama’s failures and inability to grasp that his ideological prejudices were out of touch with Middle East realities.

The next two years may well see, as Goldberg ominously predicts, even more actions by the administration to downgrade the alliance with Israel. But the blame for this will belong to a president who has never been comfortable with Israel and who has, at every conceivable opportunity, sought conflict with it even though doing so did not advance U.S. interests or the cause of peace. No insult directed at Netanyahu, no matter how crude or pointless, can cover up the president’s record of failure.

Read the whole thing.


Update: GOP Leaders Fire Back at Obama’s “Chickenshit” Aides “President should find out who said this, and fire them immediately.”

…The unnamed sources also accused Netanyahu of having more interest in keeping his office than reaching accords with Palestinians and Arab states. Additionally, the article’s author, Jeffrey Goldberg, claimed Obama had mentioned to him Netanyahu’s “lack of political courage.”

The comparison baffled some observers who noted Obama himself has come under heavy criticism for indecisiveness and lack of leadership by even his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta.

Netanyahu, on the other hand, who was wounded twice in battle and served in the Israeli forces elite unit Sayeret Matkal, has a reputation as someone willing to withstand intense international condemnation for pursuing what he believes to be Israel’s national security interests, including the recent military incursion into Gaza to stop rocket attacks and building Jewish housing in a disputed area of Jerusalem…



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