PMO: Netanyahu Will Not Cave to Pressure

Officials in PM's office reiterate that, despite "chickens**t" comments, he will not compromise on Israel's rights.

Ben Ariel,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will not cave into pressure, officials in his office stated on Tuesday night, in response to harsh comments attributed to Obama administration officials.

Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic quoted two officials in Washington who described Netanyahu, among other things, as “chickens**t” and ‘Aspergery’, highlighting continuing tensions in relations between the two countries, which have flared up in recent days over Israel’s construction in Jerusalem.

“Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will continue to insist on the security interests of the citizens of Israel and the rights of the Jewish people in Jerusalem, and no pressure will change that,” officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said in response to the remarks.

Earlier on Tuesday night, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett expressed his support for Netanyahu in the wake of the leaked comments, and said that the comments show that the Obama administration “is planning to throw Israel under the bus”.

“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,” said 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 added.

The latest tension in Israel-U.S. relations revolves 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.

Psaki then responded to Netanyahu’s comments and reiterated, “Our view on construction is longstanding. And we’ve stated it many times here. We’ll continue to express those views. We’ve – as I mentioned yesterday, we continue to urge both sides to take steps that are conducive to what they state they want to achieve, which is peace in the region and a two-state solution.”