“Netanyahu? He is a chickenshit”. Embarrassment for the White House

There has been a great uproar in Israel after Jeffrey Goldberg, a journalist particularly close to Obama, cited a senior official from the White Houseas saying that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is a “chickenshit”, a pathetic little man, a coward, because he is not attacking Iran and also because he is proving himself unable to make peace with the Palestinians. It is all his fault: he is recalcitrant, myopic, obtuse, pompous… so they say at Obama’s place.

Bibi replied saying that he was personally attacked purely because he is defending Israel, and that he will continue to do so. But it is not only a matter of politics. As Italians, we know very well the almost physical hatred for a leader who is not a leftist, the envy that could be felt toward consensus, and the contempt for those values that were not established in some hip political lounge.

There are two pretty illuminating historic photos circulating the internet these days: in one, you can see a young and serious Netanyahu, dressed in his Sayeret Matkal’s uniform, the special unit with which, in 1972, he took part in the operation to rescue the Sabena flight ‘s passengers and retake the plane hijacked by Palestinian terrorists. In 1976, his brother Yoni was killed in Entebbe.

The other photo depicts a young Obama in Chicago, with afro-curly hair, blithely smiling in his stylish suit.

Nowadays, the US President’s propensity toward the Palestinian cause is manifest: the idea that Israel must surrender its territories is the only American thought about the Middle East; the Palestinians are cleared of any incitement to commit acts of terrorism, and of terrorism itself, and Obama is not actually interested in the fight against their terror.

The White House has never bad-mouthed Assad, who took 200 thousand human lives, nor the Ayatollahs and the Saudis, who customarily hang homosexuals and stone women.

It is true: America is important for Israel. But those insults will not be enough to let its government forget that the withdrawal from Gaza actually made space for the rockets, and that Abu Mazen is now tied to Hamas through a government alliance.


This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (October 30, 2014)


About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.