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October 29, 2014 11:53 am

White House Distances Itself From ‘Chickenshit’ Insult Leveled at Netanyahu, Stops Short of Apology

avatar by Ben Cohen

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Prime Minister Netanyahu during an interview with The Algemeiner.

The White House has issued a cautious criticism of the anonymous Obama administration official who called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit” in an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, but stopped well short of an outright apology.

“Certainly, that’s not the administration’s view, and we think such comments are inappropriate and counter-productive,” National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey told The Hill. “Prime Minister Netanyahu and the president have forged an effective partnership, and consult closely and frequently, including earlier this month when the president hosted the prime minister in the Oval Office.”

There was no indication that the White House would either name the official who made the remark, nor issue a full apology to Netanyahu for insulting him with various epithets, including the word “coward.”

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Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told The Algemeiner that he “welcomed” Baskey’s statement, “which appropriately describes the comments as ‘inappropriate’ and certainly ‘counter-productive.'”

Hoenlein continued: “It’s not just the damage done to US-Israel relations at this sensitive time, but also how countries in the region read and interpret such comments. There is also the question of the follow-up to this statement, meaning what action will be taken to address those who made such damaging comments, which are clearly deliberately intended to harm the US-Israel relationship.”

In an email to The Algemeiner, Abraham Foxman, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League who was quoted in Goldberg’s story, said: “We welcome the White House’s distancing themselves from the inappropriate characterizations of the prime minister of Israel. It does a disservice to the bilateral relationship which, despite differences from time to time, has served the national security interests of both countries and the quest for peace and freedom globally.”

Foxman continued: “The White House statement should bring closure to this issue.”

Mort Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, called on the administration to fire the official responsible for the remark. “We urge the administration to determine who this disgraceful individual is, and not only apologize for him but  fire him immediately,” Klein told The Algemeiner. “It is deeply troubling that this administration has created an atmosphere where such comments can be made.” Klein also slammed the “administration’s constant reckless and inappropriate criticisms of Israel, while embracing and embracing the extremist anti-peace dictator [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas.”

Leading Middle East analysts sought to frame the insulting remarks about Netanyahu in a wider context. “Obama has fallen out with all of America’s traditional allies in the region. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, to name just three allies, are all experiencing historically difficult relations with Washington,” Michael Doran, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense in the George W. Bush administration and now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The Algemeiner. “Why? Because Obama has abandoned the traditional role of protecting its alliance system against the rival system headed by Iran. Instead, he has worked to bring Iran into the regional security architecture through the back door, and has failed to work with its allies on a unified approach to the Iranian nuclear program. Vice President Joseph Biden recently summed up the ethos of the administration when he said, in public, ‘our allies are the problem.'”

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  • art

    this was Obamas’ public declaration that it is open season on Israel.. Obama will let iran have its nukes and remove all restrictions. Obama will abandon Israel in the UN. It is not chance or co incidence that Sweden UK and spain etc have recognized the pa. After Tuesday there will be NO restraints on Obama

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    This is why the Republicans have to win in this mid term election. If for nothing else than the tying of Obama’s hands so he cant do any more harm. That an administration person said this shows that Obama is in agreement, regardless of what the President says. He has created the atmosphere where such disgraceful statements can be made.

  • Yale

    Much as those Arab countries that accuse Israel of this that or another offense are generally the ones that are guilty of those offenses, the Obama Administration and its various unnamed spokemen are generally guilty of allegations they toss at Israel. Applying this rule, when Obama accuses Israel of undermining the “Peace Process” one can be sure that he is himself doing just that.

    • Zee

      Yeah. In this case, some “chickenshit” anonymous source, too cowardly to make the statement under his own name, levels an accusation of cowardice and calls the prime minister of the US’s strongest middle eastern ally “chickenshit.”

      Meanwhile, “Red Lines” Obama chickened out of starting a war, while Netanyahu responded to the repeated rocketing of Israeli towns by striking back at Hamas. Netanyahu has also struck Hezbollah targets when the Syrians tried to transfer weapons to Hezbollah. Is the source angry that Netanyahu didn’t kick Obama in the teeth by starting a war with Iran while Obama’s administration was twisting Israel’s arm and telling it not to do so? What kind of cowardly imbecile made the “chickenshit” remark, anyway?

      The Obama administration has an insane and self-crippling habit of throwing its natural regional allies under the bus in order to placate the enemies which, meanwhile, continue to work tirelessly to screw the US and drive it from the region and to develop additional weapons of mass destruction, and in order to be able to pretend – PRETEND – to have some kind of pro-peace agenda.

      The reality in the middle east is that the ludicrous, obsessive self-destructiveness of Kerry, Obama & company are PRECISELY what causes the US to have zero credibility and thus zero leverage.

  • Lynne T

    “Leading Middle East analysts sought to frame the insulting remarks about Netanyahu in a wider context. ‘Obama has fallen out with all of America’s traditional allies in the region. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, to name just three allies, are all experiencing historically difficult relations with Washington,’ Michael Doran, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense in the George W. Bush administration and now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The Algemeiner.”

    Egypt and Saudi Arabia, yes. Turkey not so much. Erdogan has taken Turkey on its own Islamist track, with visions of restoring the Ottoman Empire, ruled by himself from his brand spanking new $100 million dollar palace with a 1,000 rooms.

  • Fred

    Obama is in charge, the buck stops with him. As the Master so the flock a treacherous undiplomatic lot. Now if the low life would have called Obama’s Muslim friends “chickenshit “wow, rioting would be the order of the day. No wonder the world is in mess.

  • Paul

    There is no doubt the comments made about BIBI are completely out of line, childish and destructive to important mutual goals – and the lukewarm retraction by the Administration is far from satisfying.
    Our Mr. Lieberman, as Israeli Foreign Minister, gave his speech at the UN in which he spoke out against the possibility of a solution with the Palestinians and the 2-state solution. The Israeli Government issued a statement that the views expressed by its own Foreign Minister and spokesman, were not shared by the government. And he wasn’t fired.
    Our Minister of Defense had gone on record several times quite recently, calling Cerry various derogatory names for his attempts to promote peace negotiations, going as far as calling him delusional and saying he should just go ask for a Nobel prize and leave us alone. This has each time gained the same lukewarm distancing itself from these inflammatory, damaging, superfluous and childish statement, and nobody was fired. And we also feel that the US coolness toward him in his last visit was impolite.

    Even here in this article,Mort Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, says “It is deeply troubling that this administration has created an atmosphere where such comments can be made.” Klein also slammed the “administration’s constant reckless and inappropriate criticisms of Israel, while embracing and embracing the extremist anti-peace dictator [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas.”

    So, while protesting the inflammatory, excessive, damaging use of words against Israel, he is doing the same – he uses the same level of inflammatory expression in describing Mahmoud Abbas – the man who is probably Israel’s best chance of making peace with.

    They say “what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”.Perhaps ALL parties should follow the same advice, because it appears to be correct for all concerned.

  • Rabelad

    If you think this is bad, wait until after the mid-term elections slated for early November. Obama is just being nice now because he doesn’t want to make things worse for the Democratic candidates who are trying to retain seats in the Senate. As it is, many of those Democratic candidates are distancing themselves from Obama and do not want Obama to campaign for them as he is a debility. So once that election is over Obama will feel free to do some utterly outrageous things against the US as well as against Israel. He will pull out the stops and be conflict with the very nature of the US and nothing short of impeachment will stop him. Remember who he promised to “fundamentally transform America”? and considering how well the American system has worked up until Obama’s rise that can only mean doing severe damage to it. But he won’t be impeached because that would trigger race riots all over the US. Just wait, things are gonna get really ugly once the elections are over. Sure am glad I live in Israel and not in the US these days.

  • Sonia Willats

    Reflects the UTTER DISDAIN the White House holds Israel in, as with other traditional allies. (Walid Shoebat points out that ‘chaliphate’ means ‘change’ (Obama promised change on his electioneering platform.. we didn’t know what kind of change.) The turn-about in USA politics has been 180degrees. Obama has notably used Jeffrey Goldberg before to make his opinions known, also in a disgraceful way, with zero respect shown to PM Netanyahu. It ties up with the deliberate insult to Moshe Yaalon.

    PM Netanyahu knows what he is dealing with in the White House and rightly appeals to Congress etc., working around the WH. If they don’t like this – and this is part of their complaint registered – the WH constantly jibes Israel about building in her capital and in the ‘territories’ (which are legitimately part of Israel…)

    So, in short, PM Netanyahu IS THE CHURCHILL in this situation, and Obama is ??? Certainly not to be respected. Neither is Jeffrey Goldberg, a journalist “chicken-shit stirrer” of note!!

  • Why should the White House apologize, we all know that Obummer despises Netanyahu? At least they are not being hypocrites!

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    Vice President Biden’s remark–“our allies are our problem” –sums up this disgraceful Obama administration’s fall from dignity and international recognition of the United States as a superpower. Deplorably, the United States has become an untrustworthy ally for many, if not most, of its partners in peace worldwide. I pray that this trend can yet be turned around in the very near future, especially regarding ISIS and Iran.

  • steven L

    The pseudo counter-intuitive idea that may resolve the Il-Pal conflict requires that the Muslim world confronts its demons and then destroy them. Short of that, Islam is doomed because NOBODY in her/his right mind will continue to tolerate fanatically and religiously motivated violence. As long as violence and fanaticism are the law of the Muslim’s lands, IL has no choice but to pursue her goals and recover her land in totality for the sole purpose of security..
    By the same token, it is quite paradoxical that the “rational” West insists on to imposing an IRRATIONAL solution on a RATIONAL people (the Jews) and refuses to impose a RATIONAL solution on an IRRATIONAL people (the Muslims)

  • myra vero

    the comments are so wonderful, I have nothing to add.

  • steven L

    Everyday it becomes more clear that our Pr. has a “personal Islamic” agenda for our country.

  • steven L

    The real US cowards are these guys who hide their face and names. They should be on the Mossad list!!!


  • BS”D

    Our history proves, whenever Klal Yisrael were loyal

    to G-d, Aisav was powerless.

    Also, America should note for it’s own good that cursers

    of the Nation of Israel, including Spain 1492, the

    Italian/Roman and Greek empires amongst others no longer

    exist as great world powers. In G-d we Trust; count on

    it; it’s on the money.

  • Remember at the 2012 Dem convention when the “freedom loving” delegates booed at the mention of the name Israel!!

    Mr. Obama, in speech after speech, has attempted to convince us (and the world) that Islam is a peace loving religion! He willfully deludes himself to the realities of the current Middle East.

    It is only a “minority” of Muslims who preach and practise violent Jihad. Apply whatever minority %age you wish to the world Muslim population and it results in very BIG numbers.

    Europe is being islamized quite willingly and England is on the road itself! Yet the so-called “leader of the free world” persists in believing in fairy tales.

  • nelson marans

    The pattern of the Obama administration has been and continues to be a bare toleration of the State of Israel and an obvious hate for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. I would suggest that the American electorate, that has been supportive of the state of Israel, show their displeasure at his actions and those of his subordinates by casting their votes for candidates more favorable toward Israel and who are willing to stand up to the president and his failed foreign policy.

    • David L

      Very well said!! I concur wholeheartedly.

  • Luigi Rosolin

    Is very disturbing that Obama administration had allowed such comment to go unpunished. Obama and is administration and alliance with Clinton is the worse scenario for Israel in many decade. The world had been pushed to Obama Muslim favouritisms and the consequences are evident in Africa and Middle East where Islamic force like Boko Haram are rampaging.
    PM Benjamin Netanyahu had a hard job try to manage USA support as most of Obama administration is pro Palestinian- Muslim supporter. The only hope is that he will be remove and replace by a better administration. Iran and other international policy by USA had fail and exacerbate conflict.

  • Robyn

    Let me tell you as an American, “We the people” stand with Israel. Obama is the CS.

  • anon

    If I remember correctly, Obama begged Netanyahu not to take action against Iran because he was up for re-election. To be fair, Bush also prevented Israel from taking out Iran’s nuclear program before they burrowed underground. So now the US is calling him a coward for not bombing Iran.

    And Netanyahu is a coward because he stands firm against the world’s criticism and does what he thinks he needs to do to keep his country safe? He stands up against Obama and this makes him a coward?

    It also seems like Israel released a couple of waves of horrible Palestinian prisoners who had Israeli blood on their hands during Kerry’s negotiations and got nothing in return. I think that was the only reason Abbas entered into negotiations. They fell apart when Abbas wanted prisoners who lived in Israel released.

    • art

      you’re right Obama/hillary?kerry have been silent in the face of abbas’ theats use of terrorism calls for killing Jews, support of hamas The only criticisms have been of Israel. Does anyone with an iota of intelligence still think Obama is a friend?

  • jlevyellow

    Nothing like this attack on Netanyahu happens by accident in political circles. In this case,

    1) it diverted attention from the Iranian negotiations to Israel

    2) it degraded the status and thus the opinions of Israel’s leaders

    3) it starts the process of distancing America from Israel for Obama’s final push to betray Israel in the UN Security Council. Now the betrayal can be blamed on personal animus, rather than abandoning the Jews

    4) it hands Iran unearned points so they may continue continue on their course to atomic weaponry (done purposely, not inadvertently)

    5) it degrades Israel’s leaders in the eyes of the world (By pairing chickensh*t with Netanyahu, the slur will become a vivid association for all who speak to him in the future)

    6) in similar manner anything associated with Netanyahu will be tarred by the same chickensh*t stench including the country of Israel and the Jews. The only way open to cleanse oneself from such an appellation is to separate from the source of the contamination – Mr. Netanyahu. With elections coming in Israel, this chickensh*t ploy is simply an attempt to overthrow the Israel government under Mr. Netanyahu’s leadership.

    The proper retort to such an attack is to find a means of calling the perpetrator a turd so that it makes as much noise.

    Sample response to chickensh*t curse: “Someone called me “chickensh*t!” I did not take the comment personally, because it was a purely political act, an Alinsky ploy if you will. However, when I find out who said this, I will think very privately to myself that this person is a “turd.” Moreover, as the leader of a sovereign country, I will seek to legally bar him/her from entering our lovely land. Everyone else should come and visit to see the beauty of our Israel for yourselves! It positively overwhelms the senses.”

  • Dr.M.Otero

    Obama’s neighbor in Chicago was Rabbi Arnold Wolf, a socialist activist and a leading anti-Zionist. Obama’s reported claim that he was well schooled in Judaism probably stems from that relationship. It’s odd because Wolf’s uncle, Rabbi Felix A. Levy, was a passionate Zionist who, among others, frequently addressed church groups interested in Zionism. A combination of Wolf, Wright and the Weathermen made him an unlikely candidate. If we wanted to put a genuine African American in the White House, his particular coloring doesn’t fill that order and his ideology doesn’t either. We’ve had more than once well qualified people that did.

  • Al Talena

    The person who made the comment was only following the tone the White House Sheik set. If a US statesman had made this comment about a palistine fascist, Hussain Obama would have fired him while apologizing.

  • john

    Obama needs to grow a pair , he`s the C. S.

  • Foxman is a dhimmi. Obama reveres the sociopath Muhammad who personally decapitated 600 – 900 unarmed Jews. Why doesn’t Foxman mention Obama’s reverence for a sociopathic mass murderer of Jews..because Foxman is a dhimmi.

  • David Levy

    Chickenshit comments from a chickenshit administration.

  • howiej

    The “official” who made the statement will not be fired since he just repeated official WH policy with the president having deniability for stating it. This administration is trying to back Israel into a corner where it will have to ” Yes massa” to everything this administration wants. I hope that all will remember these actions next Tuesday when you go in to vote. Let’s elect a Republican Senate and House of Representatives so they can take the actions that the people of the U.S.A. want and not imperial Obama.

  • Rosewood11

    Chickenshit!?! The obama administration has lots of business calling anyone chickenshit!!! Get ready for November 4th, mr. president!!! Bibi Netanyahu is a better man than you on his worst day!!!

  • aall55

    Vulgarity from the White House : can it get any lower ?

  • Marv Hershenson

    The White House is a joke, as well as its chief resident. The unnamed spokesperson represents the perspective of an administration that has failed repeatedly. The best thing we can do right now is make the Senate Republican.

  • NCS

    Mort Klein seems to be the only responsible voice in this matter. If this isn’t anti-Semitism, what is?

  • art

    Incredibly ugly behavior in the WH especiallyt when the wh lambasted Yalon etc for disagreeing with wh policy. It shows the hatred and complete destain the wh has for Israel. US Jews wake up. Obama has 2 years with no political restraints. He will recognize hamas and hezbulleh as starters

  • SHmuel HaLevi

    Excellent idea from the WH. Distance yourselves. But make the distancing a bit more extensive. Distance the h.ll away from all of us in Eretz Israel. NOW!

    • Paul

      Does this mean you have an alternate solution for your military forces (for example, without Jet fuel, your air force will be grounded within 2 weeks). Do we have someone else who will use his veto for us in the UN ? Is there some other country that has also stated they will retaliate in kind against anyone who uses unconventional weapons against us?
      Do you KNOW of an alternative, or do you not think we need things like these?
      Or are you talking irresponsibly ?

  • Stephen Steinlight

    The predictably pathetic, tepid response of the voices of the Jewish Establishment (Mort Klein is the exception) to the Administration’s ugly and vulgar message to Israel is appalling. But what more can one expect from these idolaters of Obama and Democratic liberalism. These are the real “chickenshit” Jews who don’t have sufficient ego strength they believe they have the right to rational self-interest. They believe Jews must ask the world for permission to exist. Thank God for the healthy egos of Israelis. It doesn’t matter how much money they’ve got or whose asses they kiss, the leaders of the American Jewish Establishment are ghetto kapos.

  • Shelly Levy

    The president must apologize. Someone said he is an enemy to his friends and a friend to his enemy. Now is the time to show he is a friend to his friend. Speak up folks.

  • I buried my youngest brother courtesy of Iraq 01/2005. Israel is our only real friend. Saudi is our real enemy funding cair a front. The Syrians are behind the kidnapping of westerners to be beheaded. How many much more suffering does the polititions want the American people to endure. It’s time to exert some pain to the leadership of these rogue countries to make them clean up their ringneck vulture garden BB Netanyahu is surrounded by weasels who can’t stand a functioning republic. Global warming isn’t going to kill us, the quisling’s in our own government will defeat us.

  • Obama’s relations with Israel and other Nations
    Obama has no respect from many of the International community. Obama has no credibility, he has the least experience in real politics, he is the worst president the U.S. has ever had. Obama has alienated many nations and has caused foreign policy damage that is costing the American taxpayer trillions. Obama has abused his executive powers and should be prosecuted for his violations. Obama is ignoring the true sovereignty of the Jewish people and the various treaties and international agreement entered into after WWI. Obama’s blatant disrespect of Netanyahu and Israel’s International legitimate rights shows his naivety in International matters and foreign policy. Obamas lack of etiquette is an outright embarrassment to the United States.
    Natanyahu is trying his best, but he will not compromise the security of Israel and that is the way a leader should perform. It is interesting to note. that Jordan a country that never existed in history before WWI and nobody is contesting its legitimacy or territorial sovereignty and control. On the other hand Israel that its Jewish people have over 3500 year history, many Nations and people are questioning Israel’s control of its liberated territory. No one is mentioning that the Arab countries had ejected about a million Jewish people from their countries, confiscated their homes and assets to the tune of over 500 billion dollars and over 600,00 of these Jewish people were resettled in Israel.
    If this is not discrimination I do not know what is.
    It seems like nobody cares about land violations in other countries in the world, but when it comes to Israel, everyone has a say. Israel that has the treaty of San Remo of 1920, which clearly states that the Jewish people are the only ones with political rights in the British Mandate and that the Jewish people can live anywhere in the British Mandate.
    If the U.S. Europe and other countries will stop meddling, keep its criticism and involvement in the politics of Israel and the Arabs, than there will be a chance for peace.
    We know the great powers are only interested in the OIL and nothing else, that is the bottom line.

    YJ Draiman

  • susan

    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg: Usual mode of operation of this person in the white house: it doesn’t take any nerve/courage to sneak around and have an “anonymous” shill speak for you….. floating that idea to see how it works…. he does this all the time… hiding behind others.

  • Bernard Ross

    fool jews will still vote for the democrats

  • Emanuel

    Malcolm is a joke, so is the WH, who cares what they want WE THE PEOPLE OWN THIS COUNTRY not a bunch of nitwit bureaucrats who swear allegiance to Qatar and Turkey.

    • Steven

      The notion that “we the people” own this country may come up for review after next Tuesday when Obama moves to show you that HE owns it.

  • HILLARY = OBAM 3, and 4


    . Where is our President Obama as our foreign policy has turned into a complete disaster.

    Video of Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg SAYS: President Obama, You Have Some Nerve:.

    Video is on

    Another holocaust is possible. If it happened once it can happen again. Thank G-d we have Israel. We need to do everything possible to keep Israel militarily strong. Jews get out of Europe. There can be no compromise regarding Israel nor can we depend on the good will of others. This unfortunately is a lesson that many Jews have never learned. Never forget, never forgive never again. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg