Friday, 31 October 2014

‘US rebuke of Israel seems childish: no deeds, only words’

The US Administration’s criticism of Israeli PM Netanyahu has not been accompanied by any deeds and the country still remains Israel’s main supporter, political analyst and Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy told RT.
An article in the Atlantic paper earlier this week quoted Obama administration officials calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit” and “coward” who is engaged in political posturing instead of making efforts to normalize the situation in the region. In a private conversation with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, on condition of anonymity, the US official called Netanyhu “myopic”, “pompous”, “reactionary” and “obtuse”, as well as blaming him for the “lack of political will” and “selfishness.”
The reaction from the Israeli PM came rather fast and directly.
"Our supreme interests, chiefly the security and unity of Jerusalem, are not the main concern of those anonymous officials who attack us and me personally, as the assault on me comes only because I defend the State of Israel," Netanyahu said.
"Despite all of the attacks, I suffer, I will continue to defend our country. I will continue to defend the citizens of Israel," he also added.

RT: Privately expressed opinions are one thing. But do such attitudes towards Prime Minister Netanyahu carry through to the official level?
Gideon Levy: Not everything is personal. Between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu there is bad blood for a long time…Netanyahu crossed some borders long time ago and he keeps on crossing some borders in relations between the two allies, not equal ones. In the White House people thought that this should be reacted to in a proper way. The only thing that I would like to draw your attention to is that until now it’s only words. There is something childish about that, because on the one hand, the US is backing Israel almost in everything - with money, political support, support in international organizations, everywhere. So those curses coming from the White House towards the Israeli Prime Minister until now are not accompanied by any deeds. Finally, at the end of the day what matters are the deeds.
A general view taken on April 8, 2014 shows construction at a building site of new housing units in the Jewish settlement of Neve Yaakov, near Israel's controversial separation wall in the northern area of east Jerusalem. (AFP Photo)

RT: Some American officials have accused Netanyahu of being 'a coward', saying he is afraid to take definitive action on Iran. What do you make of such comments?
GL: First of all, one can ask “and the American President isn’t a coward here?” - a man who is so committed to bring peace to the Middle East, to bring justice to the Palestinians. What did he do in his six years? And why didn’t he do more, if not out of cowardice because of the domestic politics in his own country? Sure, Netanyahu is very far from being a courageous statesman, but unfortunately, Mr Obama is not a very courageous leader either.
RT: Also in the article it's mentioned that the US may withdraw diplomatic support for Israel in the United Nations. What's in store for Israel if that happens?
GL: This will be a game-changer, because as you know Israel is totally isolated in the international arena. And it’s not only the support of the US, because the US in many cases is preventing Western Europe [from] supporting the Palestinian authorities more than it does. Once the US leaves its umbrella over Israel, Israel will be in a very problematic situation in the international arena.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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