Add another item to the list of insults officials in the Obama administration have lobbed at Benjamin Netanyahu.
A senior Obama administration official recently described the Israeli prime minister as “chickenshit,” according to Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic.
The list also includes descriptions such as "recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and 'Aspergery,' " according to Goldberg.
“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official told Goldberg, explaining the meaning behind calling the leader of an ally a “chickenshit.”
“The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states," the official said. "The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he’s not [Ariel] Sharon, he’s certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He’s got no guts."
A separate official told Goldberg that the administration believes Netanyahu to be a “coward” on the issue of Iran’s nuclear threat, no longer believing he would ever launch a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration denied reports that it planned to go around Congress on a nuclear arms deal with Iran.
"The notion that we are trying to avoid congressional consultation and input on this is preposterous," White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz said at the time.
Iran seeks terms that would allow it to enrich nuclear fuel for the generation of electricity.
Israeli officials have warned that Iran intends to build a nuclear weapons program.