Gates meets with Netanyahu
Gates meets with Netanyahu Israel news photo: Flash 90

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates calls Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu an “ungrateful ally,” journalist Jeffrey Goldberg wrote Tuesday on his blog, published by Bloomberg News.

Goldberg, whose columns have been extraordinarily negative towards Israeli nationalists and in favor of most Palestinian Authority demands and the "peace process," quoted Gates as saying that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s refusal to accept American demands in the “peace process” is evidence that Israel is ungrateful.

Gates, like most American government officials, often has pledged to bolster Israel’s security but also has stated what he thinks should be Israel’s domestic policies.

Goldberg wrote that Gates recently told the National Security Council Principals Committee -- in Goldberg’s words, attributed to government sources -- “Netanyahu is not only ungrateful, but also endangering his country by refusing to grapple with Israel’s growing isolation and with the demographic challenges it faces if it keeps control of the West Bank.”

In fact, Prime Minister Netanyahu has offered to surrender most of Judea and Samaria and expel up to 100,000 Jews living outside major population centers. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that all large areas of Jerusalem, including the Old City and Western Wall, as well as all of Judea and Samaria be under its sovereignty.

Goldberg railed at Prime Minister Netanyahu for “impudence” by relating his principles to President Barack Obama in a live discussion. The blogger called it a “lecture” that angered the president as well as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other government leaders who were upset that Israel does not accept America’s policies for Israel.

Writing that the United States always has gone to bat for Israel, Goldberg wrote that when Gates spoke to the National Security Council committee this summer, he “coldly laid out the many steps the administration has taken to guarantee Israel’s security -- access to top-quality weapons, assistance developing missile-defense systems, high-level intelligence sharing -- and then stated bluntly that the U.S. has received nothing in return, particularly with regard to the peace process.”

Goldberg was further irritated that the United States probably will stand up for Israel if and when the United Nations discusses an Arab League request, in the name of Abbas, for recognizing the Palestinian Authority and accepting its unilateral political and territorial demands.

Goldberg also opined, “Dislike of Netanyahu has deepened in a way that could ultimately be dangerous for Israel” and that “the Netanyahu government does little to dispel the notion among its right-wing supporters that the Obama administration is at best a wavering friend. This is self- evidently foolish, especially at a time when Israel faces an existential threat from its menacing neighbor Iran.”

He then put in a plug for Israel’s Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, writing that the leader of the Kadima party told him -- in a recent interview with him and the editor of Atlantic -- that, in his words, “The average Israeli is more attuned to the importance of maintaining good relations with the U.S. president than is the current prime minister."

“The litmus test for them [Israelis] is the health of the relationship between Israel and the United States,” she was quoted as saying.