Why the Obama Administration Is Calling Benjamin Netanyahu “Chickenshit” Behind Closed Doors

October 29, 2014 8:11 PM

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Why the Obama Administration Is Calling Benjamin Netanyahu “Chickenshit” Behind Closed Doors

The big diplomatic story of the day is an anonymous Obama administration official’s claim, in an Atlantic feature by Jeffrey Goldberg, that Benjamin Netanyahu is a “chickenshit.” Why is the Israeli prime minister a chickenshit? Because “he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he’s not [Ariel] Sharon, he’s certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He’s got no guts.” In the same story, another official concurs that Netanyahu is a “chickenshit” and adds that he’s a “coward” with regards to launching a possible preemptive strike to forestall Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Let’s put aside for a moment the inherent irony of using an anonymous quote to call someone a coward while the Obama administration publicly issues paeans to the frank and productive partnership between Israel and U.S. Instead, I’ll note that this is the second notable anonymous scatological descrip...

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