Senior officials in the decried Benjamin Netanyahu as a “chickenshit prime minister”,

Netanyahu insists he is ‘under attack for defending Israel’ after remarks from US official

Quotes from senior Obama administration figures damn Israeli prime minister as ‘chickenshit’ over stance on settlements and peace with Palestinians

gazaUS relations with Israel have plunged to new depths of bitterness and hostility as senior officials in the Obama administration decried Binyamin Netanyahu as a “chickenshit prime minister”, “coward” and a man more interested in his own political survival than peace.

The furious assessment delivered in anonymous but no-holds barred comments in an interview with the American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic underline a state of anger with Netanyahu that is characterised as “red hot”.

The remarks are particularly telling in having been made to Goldberg, a Washington insider who has interviewed both Obama and Netanyahu, and who warned US-Israeli relations were in a “full-blown crisis” that could only get worse after the midterm elections.

Speaking to the Israeli parliament – the Knesset – a few hours after the comments were revealed, Netanyahu angrily insisted he was “under attack simply for defending Israel”, adding that he “cherished” Israel’s relationship with the US.

“When there are pressures on Israel to concede its security, the easiest thing to do is to concede,” he said. “You get a round of applause, ceremonies on grassy knolls, and then come the missiles and the tunnels.” read more