'Paranoid' Netanyahu Calls David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel 'Self-Hating Jews'

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports today on the “atmosphere of permanent crisis” surrounding the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to the report, a handful of Netanyahu’s top aides “dislike each other: They are constantly badmouthing each other and blaming each other for leaks.” One aide even revealed that Netanyahu attacked President Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and senior advisor David Axelrod as “self-hating Jews”:

Netanyahu appears to be suffering from confusion and paranoia. He is convinced that the media are after him, that his aides are leaking information against him and that the American administration wants him out of office. Two months after his visit to Washington, he is still finding it difficult to communicat[e] normally with the White House. To appreciate the depth of his paranoia, it is enough to hear how he refers to Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, Obama’s senior aides: as “self-hating Jews.”

An aide also said that Netanyahu thought that his recent speech tacitly endorsing a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict (an endorsement that came with enormous caveats) “would become mandatory reading at schools in the United States, and when he realized that Obama gave no such order, he went back to being frustrated.” Matt Yglesias notes that Emanuel, who has taken a leading role in the Obama administration in pushing the two-state solution, has frustrated many in the right-wing American Jewish community for being too “tough” on the Israelis.


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