Today Jeffrey Goldberg published an essay at The Atlantic about rising tensions between the governments of the United States and Israel. Things do not seem to be going very well. Goldberg opens his piece by quoting an unnamed “senior Obama administration official” who recently told him: “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit.” Bibi is the nickname of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Later on in the essay, Goldberg allows the unnamed official to clarify his (or her) comment:
“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official said, expanding the definition of what a chickenshit Israeli prime minister looks like. “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 Rabin, he’s not Sharon, he’s certainly no (Menachem) Begin. He’s got no guts.”
In stark contrast, Netanyahu has never been afraid of hurling on-the-record insults at his American allies. In early October, after the White House condemned Israel for authorizing new construction permits for Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, Netanyahu went on the CBS Sunday show Face the Nation to call the administration’s criticism “un-American.”