WASHINGTON (JTA) — Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was ungrateful for Obama administration assistance and gave nothing in return, according to a report.

Gates made his remarks after a tense meeting in May between Netanyahu and President Obama, Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg wrote in a column Sept. 6 for Bloomberg News. Obama had just outlined precepts for a Palestinian-Israeli peace that included many positions guaranteeing Israel’s security, but also called for negotiations to be based on 1967 lines.

Netanyahu, who was caught off guard by the new policies, was furious and lectured Obama on Middle East history at an Oval Office press availability.
That public dress-down in turn infuriated administration officials, and Gates, a Republican who is a carryover from President George W. Bush’s administration, excoriated Netanyahu at a meeting of the National Security Council Principals — the council of top U.S. officials handling defense and security.

Gates noted increased assistance under Obama to Israel including intelligence sharing and missile defense cooperation, and said that Netanyahu had been especially unhelpful regarding the peace process with the Palestinians. He said Netanyahu’s policies endangered Israel.

Goldberg reported that no one in the room objected to the characterization, and said that officials were leaking the remarks now because the United States again is taking Israel’s side at the United Nations and attempting to head off a bid by the Palestinians to get the body to recognize Palestine as a state without negotiating with Israel.

2 thoughts on “Gates says Netanyahu ungrateful to Obama

  • PM Netanyahu should have dressed down Obama for making such a stupid demand that Israel negotiate from the 1967 borders, an undefensible position. Who’s side do you think a Muslim is going to take. Obama certainly doesn’t have Israels best interests at heart and neither does Gates if he agrees with Obama. Mr. Netanyahu, you have no partners in this peace process, continue to protect your people and land.

  • Grateful??? Please tell me that was not what he said ! Grateful? Ingrate!! Who Should Be Grateful of Whom? Mr. Netanyahu conducted himself in a manner one sees in the leader of a democratic nation. Mr. Obama stabbed the Prime Minister in the back while he was enrout to the U.S.. It was nothing short of shameful.

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