In case you missed it, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg offered a peek at how the Obama administration really feels about Benjamin Netanyahu:
The other day I was talking to a senior Obama administration official about the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most. “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,” this official said, referring to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, by his nickname.
Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery.” (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.) But I had not previously heard Netanyahu described as a “chickenshit.” I thought I appreciated the implication of this description, but it turns out I didn’t have a full understanding. From time to time, current and former administration officials have described Netanyahu as a national leader who acts as though he is mayor of Jerusalem, which is to say, a no-vision small-timer who worries mainly about pleasing the hardest core of his political constituency. (President Obama, in interviews with me, has alluded to Netanyahu’s lack of political courage.)
The whole thing reads like a hit piece. Probably because that’s essentially what it is.
But let’s set Goldberg’s hackery aside. Annoying as he may be, he’s at least not in any real position to screw up international relations. The Obama administration is a different story.
Especially when you consider who we’re dealing with here:
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional tweets.