"I respect our ties with the US," Prime Minister Netanyahu said Wednesday in his first public comment after reports revealed unprecedented criticism of Netanyahu from the White House, brining tensions with the US to a new time high.
"I am being attacked because I'm defending Israel," Netanyahu told the Knesset.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein commented on unprecedented criticism of Prime Minister Netanyahu by US officials, saying that "the unrestrained criticism at Israel and its leader, as attributed to 'unnamed' White House officials – have crossed a line."
Edelstein added that "I suggest those anonymous officials take a lesson from the American people, who show respect to every president."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that he will not be deterred from “defending Israel” by personal attacks, in response to a report that quoted an anonymous US official calling him a “chickenshit.”
“I was personally attacked purely because I defend Israel, and despite all the attacks against me, I will continue to defend our country, I will continue to defend the citizens of Israel,” Netanyahu told the Knesset.
“The prime minister of Israel is not a private [citizen] and he represents the position of the democratic and sovereign State of Israel and its constant fear for its existence and security,” Steinitz said in a statement. “Therefore offensive comments toward him are insults against the State of Israel and its citizens.
Very publicly, very nastily, and very worryingly, we are witnessing the collapse of an alliance.
Not between the United States and Israel — the ties run too deep, and the common interests (if not necessarily the common values) are abiding. But between their current leaderships, the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government.
How and why has it come to this?
But as things stand, the criticisms are coming fast and bitter, with administration spokespeople openly musing on whether Israel “wants to live in a peaceful society” and warning that East Jerusalem housing plans will “distance Israel from even its closest allies.” The use of the term “chickenshit” by an unnamed administration official to describe Netanyahu in an article by Jeffrey Goldberg on Tuesday marks a descent into outright vulgarity that may well be unprecedented in the annals of US-Israel ties.
What does this deterioration in relations hold in store for Israel? It may be unsurprising come post the November mid-term elections to see the Obama administration take the gloves off and even publicly laying down the terms for an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians including delineating the two-state solutions borders. This is something that will not go down lightly with the Israeli government. There is an increasing likelihood that the US administration could even withhold defense of Israel against hostile resolutions.
We just learned that the homeownership rate in the United States has fallen to the lowest level in 19 years. But of course this is not a new trend. As you will see in this article, the homeownership rate in the United States has been a continual decline for more than 7 years. Obviously this is not a sign of a healthy economy. Traditionally, homeownership has been one of the key indicators that you belong to the middle class. When people define "the American Dream", it is usually one of the first things mentioned. So if the percentage of Americans that own a home has been steadily going down for 7 years in a row, what does that tell us about the health of the middle class in this country?