“The United States administration is planning to throw Israel under the bus,” Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday night, responding to harsh words against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu which were attributed to senior officials in the Obama administration.
“Israel is stronger than all those who curse it,” said Bennett, after Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic quoted officials in Washington as having described Netanyahu as “chickens**t”, among other things.
“The prime minister is not a private individual, but the leader of the Jewish State and the Jewish world as a whole. Serious curses such as these against the Israeli Prime Minister are harmful to millions of citizens of Israel and Jews worldwide,” added Bennett.
“Neither the leader of Syria, who has slaughtered 150,000 of his citizens, nor the leader of Saudi Arabia, who stones women and gays, have been called ‘chickens**t. If what is written is true, then the current administration intends to throw Israel under the wheels of the bus,” he said.
“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and it has struggled for its existence over the past 66 years. Israel is the vanguard of the free world against the Islamic terrorism of ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran,” noted Bennett.
“Instead of attacking Israel and forcing suicide conditions upon it, it should be strengthened. I call upon the U.S. administration to renounce these abusive remarks and reject them outright,” he concluded.
The comments that were published Tuesday highlight growing tensions between Jerusalem and Washington in recent months, the latest revolving around Netanyahu’s giving instructions for the building of about 660 homes in Ramat Shlomo, in northern Jerusalem, and about 400 more in Har Homa, in the capital's southern section.
On Monday night, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki responded to the move by saying Washington was "deeply concerned" by the reports and American embassy officials were having high-level talks with Israeli leaders to seek more information.
Netanyahu fired back on Tuesday, declaring that Israel would continue to build Jewish homes in Jerusalem.