Is this man a chickenshit?

Is this man a chickenshit?

The folks in the White House are not holding back any longer. They are not moderating their hysterical antipathy to the Jewish state and its leaders as befits officials of the world’s leading superpower, but have turned to schoolyard taunts.

“The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,” says an unnamed (as always) senior  administration official to journalist Jeffrey Goldberg.

Chickenshit? This is how they talk about our Prime Minister? Would they publicly use language like that to describe David Cameron or even Hassan Rouhani? Goldberg quotes another anonymous official as expressing a “red-hot anger” about Israel building over the Green Line. It’s strange that no such anger has been expressed toward the Iranian regime for continuing to make fools of Western negotiators as it progresses steadily toward the bomb Obama promised it would never have.

So why are they calling Binyamin Netanyahu a coward? Well, for one thing he is “afraid to start wars” — yes, this is a direct quotation! Goldberg’s official explains:

It’s too late for him to do anything. Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.

In other words, when Israel planned to hit Iranian nuclear facilities back in 2012 and the attack was vetoed by the Obama administration, Netanyahu didn’t proceed despite the veto.

Cowardice? A good case can be made for prudence in the face of direct US threats. Such an operation would be very complicated and difficult, and could be compromised at many points. The US had already leaked details of Israeli operations on multiple occasions, and it has the means to detect an attack the moment it begins. All it would have to do is allow the Iranians to find out that Israeli planes were on their way to frustrate the operation and cause the deaths of Israeli pilots. Remember that Obama adviser Zbig Brzezinski suggested in 2009 that US forces might even attack IAF aircraft in this precise situation.

Another important consideration is that an attack on Iran would almost certainly trigger a war with Hizballah, Iran’s terrorist foreign legion, which has as many as 100,000 missiles aimed at Israel. It would be foolhardy to invite this confrontation — and certain civilian and military casualties — unless there were a very good chance of significantly damaging Iran’s nuclear project.

How hypocritical can they get? First they tie his hands and then they call him a coward for not fighting!

The other reason he is “a chickenshit” is that he is allegedly afraid of right-wingers in his coalition and outside of it and panders to them by allowing construction in Judea and Samaria and especially eastern Jerusalem. The possibility that he actually believes that it is legitimate and in fact is bravely standing up for his convictions against US pressure does not seem to have been considered. The administration official continued:

The bad thing about him is that 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.

Really? Do you remember 2013, when he agreed to release more than 100 convicted terrorist murderers from Israeli jails in response to US demands, in order to “bring the Palestinians to the table?” Probably nothing could have hurt him as much in domestic politics, not only with the right wing but with the average Israeli.

There have also been multiple freezes in construction, official and unofficial, which have angered pro-settlement elements. And then there was Bibi’s 2009 speech in which for the first time an Israeli Prime Minister accepted the idea of a Palestinian state. The accusation that he is “afraid” of making concessions for peace is simply a lie. The truth is that no matter what he does, only complete capitulation to Palestinian demands will satisfy the administration.

The extreme hypocrisy, contempt and vulgarity of the charges against PM Netanyahu are indicative of more than a policy disagreement. They signify a particular attitude toward the Jew among nations and the Jew among prime ministers that rises from the White House like a stench of corruption. There is no ‘special relationship’ between this administration and Israel unless is it the same old special treatment reserved for Jews from time immemorial.

I urge American Jews to pay attention. These people are not only Israel’s enemies, they are yours too.

An aside: I know it isn’t a Jewish tradition, but doesn’t Bibi have the right to demand satisfaction from the official who called him a coward? I suggest pistols at ten paces. I think we know who would win!


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8 Responses to Chickenshitgate

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    This is something which you rightly see as unprecedented. It is also especially petty, ugly and disgusting.
    A couple of other points. Knowing that this remark was so belittling I would have expected Jeffrey Goldberg not to publish it, or if he did publish it cite by name the spokesperson involved.
    As for the substance I wonder if the ‘official’ who made it ever served in any kind of military unit. Probably not. But I suppose asking this also puts the discussion on the petty level.
    I think the major point is that this remark indicates how deep the hostility of the Administration is to the Netanyahu government, and perhaps too to Israel.
    At the same time I don’t believe the Prime Minister has acted so wisely in this case. Why? This is the second time a major confrontation has come with the U.S. in regarding to building in Har -Shlomo. All those homes will go for Haridim who never serve in the Army. I would have understood the defiance more had they come with the announcement that a huge project was being built for those who had served in the Army.
    One more point. With all this Israel still relies on the U.S. not to allow the Palestinian diplomatic offensive to completely isolate Israel. With all the unfairness of this Israel still depends on the U.S. and not vice- versa.
    Obama may have in the next two years a terrible surprise for us. We should not be providing him justification for it, though of course justification or not he will do what he wants.
    He is now clearly a U.S. President who has led to the increase of disorder in the world on every front, declining U.S. power and influence, the increased power of radical Islam.
    Not a very great legacy to leave in the history books.

  2. I think it is important to establish the precedent that decisions about building in Jerusalem, regardless of whom it is for, are taken in Jerusalem and not in Washington.
    As far as the UN goes, you are correct that they will do what they will do. There is always an excuse available or they will invent one.
    I think we will find out who made the statement. Goldberg won’t tell, of course, but there is pressure to find out. That person should lose his job. If only American Jews would wake up! But they couldn’t even shut down an anti-Jewish opera.

  3. Mike Packer says:

    I agree with your surprise at the language used by a “senior” in the US administration. Surely these people have some idea about dilplomatic language? This has got to be the worst insult from anybody in foreign relations (apart from the pali authority).

    I wonder how they would feel if somebody from Israel would call Barak Obama the “shvartze nigger” in the White house.

    Well I have just ruined my next trip to visit family in the US!

  4. MacGuffin says:

    The real chickenshit is the failed community organizer from Chicago who became a failed senator and is now the chickenshit in chief. Also a failure. Russia and other countries openly mock him, and don’t respect the United States. The world is going to hell and Obama witters on about gay rights and green energy. And he takes time out to slam and belittle the only ally we have left. He needs to shut up and do some hard thinking. Any thinking seems beyond him though, so I guess that won’t be happening.

  5. Shalom Freedman says:

    I have thought about this a bit more and now think it is worse than what I said before.
    I believe this is a pre-emptive attack launched by those foreseeing how Israel react when the U.S. makes its deal with Iran.
    I also believe it is preliminary to the U.S. changing its policy in the U.N. I do not know how exactly they will do this. But it will push Palestine forward and further isolate Israel.
    All those who foresaw that the Obama Administration would become an enemy to Israel’s interest were right.

  6. Shalom Freedman says:

    It appears now that the U.S. has been cosying up to Iran for over a year now. This is part of the deal. The U.S. is tilting toward Iran and even toward Hizbollah. The preemptive strike against Israel is again in anticipation of what the Israeli reaction will be to the Iranian nuclear deal.
    But there is something here. I cannot recall that a U.S. official ever used this kind of language in relation to anyone or anything. It reflects extreme badly on the Obama Administration that it would sink to this.
    Another point about the accusation. What is one of the classic Anti-Semitic accusations made against Jews? Answer: That they are cowardly. Anti-Semites throughout the world will be gloating at the message of the government official.
    PS I read Goldberg’s article carefully and understand this his own personal agenda pervades it. He is the left liberal supporter of Israel who has been highly critical of Netanyahu and Israeli ‘settlements’ all along. Nonetheless as a Jew who allegedly cares for Israel I would have thought he would not have sought the sensational aggravation of US Israel relations. But Mr. Jeffrey Goldberg put his own little self- interest and position first. He is doing what the liberals always trying to do – make it so bad for Netanyahu that the Israeli public will abandon him.
    PS One more point. We have not seen the backlash in the U.S. yet. Hopefully there will be at least some outrage at this means of addressing an ally. Obama is famous for courting enemies and coolness to allies but this takes it one step further.
    I wonder however if leftist liberal Jews who supposedly are supporters of Israel will show any outrage against the U.S. Administration here. If they any small semblance of self-respect and dignity they should openly broke with the ‘leader from behind’.

  7. Goldberg does have a liberal agenda, but he reported the comment of the unnamed official accurately as he must do as a journalist. He has a reputation for veracity, and the White House can’t say that he made the statement up. They are now saying it doesn’t represent Administration thinking, but Ari Fleischer, former Bush Press Secretary, tweeted “As ex WH staffer, I can safely say staff wouldn’t publicly call someone “chickensh*t” if POTUS hadn’t privately said something similar 1st.”

  8. shalom-hillel says:

    This was really a fascinating insight into the Obama administration. It underscores again how they disdain their friends and clearly look upon them as weak. Enemies of the United States, on the other hand, are treated with deference. The lesson is that Israel needs to do what is in her own interest and to never be intimidated by false friends. The final chapter of the Iran situation has not been written. I believe Netanyahu did indeed follow a prudent course given the passivity of the United States and its pressure on Israel not to move against Iran’s nuclear sites. However, as the endgame nears this comment by the unnamed senior administration official may come back to haunt the Obama administration. I see it as implicit license for Israel to act. Puzzling. Is that the message they were trying to convey?

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