Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wrote in his new book that he once tried to ban Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from the White House, when he was President George H. W. Bush’s national security adviser, because of what he said was the Prime Minister’s “arrogance and outlandish ambition.” Netanyahu was deputy foreign minister at the time.
Gates writes openly about his disgust with Netanyahu in his book “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.”
“I was offended by his glibness and his criticism of U.S. policy — not to mention his arrogance and outlandish ambition — and I told national security adviser Brent Scowcroft that Bibi ought not be allowed back on White House grounds.” Gates wrote.
On the other hand, Gates said he felt very close to Ehud Barak, who was former Defense Minister and was Prime Minister for less than two years.
The old idiom “you are known by the company you keep” speaks volumes about Gates. Barak was up to his neck in making deals with the military industrial complex and served as an adviser for defense firms after his first fallout with the Labor party following his landslide loss in his re-election bid against Ariel Sharon in 2001.
Gates’ loathing of Netanyahu continues to this day. He wrote in his new book, “I, as a very strong friend and supporter of Israel, believe Jerusalem needs to think anew about its strategic environment. That would require developing stronger relationships with governments that, while not allies, share Israel’s concerns in the region, including those about Iran and the growing political influence of Islamists in the wake of the Arab Spring. … Given a Palestinian birthrate that far outpaces that of Israeli Jews, and the political trends in the region, time is not on Israel’s side.”
If he had his facts right, he would know that statement about the birth rate simply is not true.