Earlier this week we learned through the reporting of Jeffery Goldberg that multiple White House officials refer to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "chickensh*t, recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and 'Aspergery.'" At this point the White House has no plans to disclose or find out who made the comments and President Obama has failed to issue a direct apology to Netanyahu for the behavior of his team. Press Secretary Josh Earnest attempted an expected diplomatic clean-up during the daily briefing on Wednesday by saying the comments in Goldberg's story don't represent the view of the administration. Now, it's Secretary of State John Kerry's turn.
Earlier today Kerry called Netanyahu to reiterate Earnest's comments that the name-calling doesn't represent the administration's view of the Israeli prime minister but admitted the comments have an impact on an already damaged relationship between the two countries. From Haartz:
U.S. Secretary of State called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday to express his regret over the remarks made against the Israeli premier this week in The Atlantic.
According to a senior Israeli official, Kerry said the remarks were unacceptable and emphasized they do not represent the position of the U.S. government.
On Thursday, Kerry condemned the jibes, noting that since his tenure as secretary of state began, he has never heard the derogatory term used regarding Netanyahu.
"Such statements are disgraceful, unacceptable and damaging," he said during a press conference in Washington. "I don’t know who the people that said those things are but it made our lives much harder."
Tensions between the U.S. and Israel continue to rise as Iran gets closer to the production of a nuclear weapon, something the Obama administration doesn't seem eager to stop.