Middle East

Netanyahu is a 'chickensh*t'? Here's what's next for America and Israel

Former Israeli ambassador to the U.N. reacts to claims in magazine article


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?

Perhaps it was a signal to the Emir of Qatar, to stop being the paymaster of terrorists?

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.

It is Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu who is “courageously” singled out for public humiliation by an anonymous administration official, according to an article by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic, who calls Netanyahu a coward but lacks the decency to use his own name.

Here is the immediate fallout from this slur, the State Department’s non-stop finger wagging at Israel for real and imagined sins, and the administration’s insistence that violence-inciting, terrorists-honoring, Mahmoud Abbas is the one partner committed to peace in the Holy Land:

-- Say Goodbye to the Israeli Street. For a two-state solution to have any chance, Israelis have to know that the U.S. has their back. Forget about it. The Obama administration’s carefully calibrated rhetoric is shoving Israelis further to the right. Forget the Israeli cabinet, Israeli taxi drivers no longer trust President Obama.

-- Iran, Hamas, Qatar. These three nations are now emboldened to push their anti-American, pro-terrorist, and anti-peace agendas by a leader perceived as soft in word and deed.

-- American Jewry. Even those Jews whose democratic creds are deeply embedded in their political DNA, are insulted by a slur that, had it been uttered in any other country would have been denounced by the State Department’s Special Envoy on Anti-Semitism.

Of course Jewish supporters of President Obama would be right to point to the president’s vital support for Israel’s defensive needs, including the Iron Dome. But even those American Jews and other critics of Bibi’s policy and style, still worry about the safety of the world’s largest Jewish community that is threatened by Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and ISIS.

Will this latest revelation impact Jewish voters next Tuesday? It's useless to make predictions, but friends of Israel fear that they may have been provided a foretaste of the direction of the president’s foreign policy over the next two years.

Bottom line: Friends and allies are shuddering, despots and bullies are rejoicing.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is Associate Dean, Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Follow the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Facebook and on Twitter