Netanyahu’s Gauche Contempt for the United States

Netanyahu’s contempt for the United States President only repeats his contempt for France’s President Francois Hollande, when he went to Paris after France’s President Hollande explicitly requested him not to.

It was not about Israel but Netanyahu’s known inherent bad manners— proven when he elbowed his way to the front in a video that went viral.

Israel’s former President Peres and current President Reuven Rivlin would have been welcome to France and their manners impeccable.

So now a second time Netanyahu shows arrogant contempt for a major world President– this time the President of the Untied States.

It seems Netanyahu in his inherent gaucherie— just can’t help himself.

So that now a second time and so soon afterward the arrogant Prime Minister will attempt to barge in on yet another major national capital, Washington behind the back now of another country’s President.

New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks called this blindsiding of President Obama “unwise” and “bad for Israel.”

The Jewish Daily Forward reports that the the Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman has “slammed” it. 

Former Israel President Shimon Peres condemned it. 

Former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni says that Netanyahu will “hurt Israel’s security”; and Yair Lapid that he is “destroying our strategic relationship with the United States.”

Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and scholar Michael Oren has “called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel his upcoming address.”

Conservative Fox News’s Shepherd Smith notes that “they think… we are just a bunch of complete morons, the United States citizens, as if we wouldn’t pick up on what’s happening here.” 

Fox’s Chris Wallace notes that “To make you get a sense of really how, forgive me, wicked, this whole thing is, the Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Israeli Ambassador to the United States for two hours on Tuesday, Ron Dermer.”

He continues: “he ambassador never mentioned the fact that Netanyahu was in negotiations and finally agreed to come to Washington, not to see the president, but to go to Capitol Hill, speak to a joint session of congress and criticize the president’s policy. I have to say I’m shocked.”

In other words,: Israel’s Ambassador Ron Dermer met with our Foreign Minister – our Secretary of State — for two solid hours and, somehow, just “happened” to neglect to reveal that the leader of the country he represents here was, um, planning to make a trip here.

Needless to say, the entire Democratic Leadership in the United States Congress also was also denied any knowledge of it

For all this Ambassador Dermer should be declared persona non grata in this country and asked to leave and for Israel to appoint a new ambassador.

Last December 25th Haaretz reported in a headline:

“Ambassador Ron Dermer flouts regulations by endorsing Netanyahu on U.S. media” since “civil Service instructions forbid civil servants from expressing themselves on political issues, and from involvement in election propaganda.”

Haaretz has reported since that Dermer was reprimanded in Israel and the reprimand placed in his personnel file.

The New York Times reports that Daniel C. Kurtzer, a former United States Ambassador to Israel, has just said of Dermer:

“He’s a political operative, he’s not really an ambassador….What he did was totally unacceptable from a standpoint of diplomacy. To think about going behind the back of a friendly country’s administration and working out this kind of arrangement with the parliament or the Congress – it’s unheard-of.’”

As USA Today’s editorial headline put a few days ago on February 1st about Netanyahu and Dermer and Boehner:

“Boehner’s Netanyahu ploy runs onto the rocks: It risks swapping an alliance between nations for an alliance between Israel’s Likud Party and the GOP.”

Foxs Chris Wallace accuses Netanyahu of trying to “ignore the president, to not even let him know that he is coming, and to sneak in.

American officials are saying he “spat in our face publicly.”

So does the conservative Forbes website.

Everyone from former Israeli President Shimon Peres to Tzipi Livni to Yair Lapid to Michael Oren to Daniel Kurtzer to conservative columnist David Brooks and Fox News, Forbes, and USA Today say the same.

Wallace condemns it as a “deliberate and really egregious snub” of the President.”

And Wallace expresses his shock at Netanyahu’s contempt for us Americans–whom Netanyahu believes are “morons” who are sunk in ignorance of his serial contemptuousness and inherent gaucheness.

Americans and especially we American Jews should we should write or phone our representatives in Congress to stay away– so that Netanyahu will express his insolences before a half-empty hall.

Reportedly Netanyahu was recently on the phone with Democratic Congressional leaders, trying to pacify and placate them.

But did he do this with the President? Of course not. The inherent gaucherie of the Prime Minister’s character runs too deep.

For anyone who may think this is “singling out” Israel, what a typical ridiculous and wild and reckless Rightist charge.

How many other nations have ever had leaders speak before a Joint Session of Congress?

Almost no nations or their leaders.


If Netanyahu does it again, he will have done it twice.

And be the only foreign leader to have done it twice except Churchill.

Moreover Obama has had more contacts with Netanyahu than he has had with any other leader in the entire world.

This — this? — is Western double standards against the Israeli Right?

As usual–it is instead only singling it out for special favored treatment.

As usual: All Western double-standards are pro-Israeli-Right.

So that Netanyahu can do and get away with anything

Is the Netanyahu period of settlement expansionism and contempt for the free world’s governments and nations soon coming to an end?

All sensible Israelis and Americans alike deeply hope it ends next month.

About the Author
James Adler was born in Kentucky, now works in university libraries, and feels especially and intensely bound up with the fate of the Jewish people in the last hundred years, especially the Shoah, the rise of Israel "out of the ashes," and the accidental and mutually tragic collision with the Palestinians in the early and middle of the 20th century, continuing through today. He is happily married and the father of two teenagers.