Israel Hayom on Thursday (מקורב לבית הלבן: דברי נתניהו מעליבים את הנשיא והממשל) cited a source close to the White House who criticized the recent remarks of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the new Israeli government’s Iran policy (Iran is Racing Toward a Nuclear Bomb and the Lapid-Bennett Government is Silent). The source said the Netanyahu article was insulting the US administration and the Democratic Party.
Netanyahu wrote that “various American administrations, including the Biden administration most recently, repeatedly asked me ‘not to surprise them’ with actions against Iran. I always refused to make this promise. I always maintained our freedom of action.” He added brazenly: “I also publicly stated that we would continue doing anything necessary to ensure Israel’s security—with or without a nuclear deal between the United States and Iran.”
At which point the former PM turned on the attack: “Yet, within a week of this government’s formation, prime minister-in-actuality Yair Lapid discarded this policy wholesale. He dealt a mortal blow to Israel’s freedom of action when he stunningly promised the Americans ‘no surprises.’”
The White House source said that such statements damage the ties between the United States and Israel and create a false image as if the Biden administration and the Democratic party are abandoning Israel and are not committed to its security.
“President Biden leads a clear line within the Democratic party of commitment to Israel and its security,” the source stressed. “His approach reinforces the bipartisan support that Israel needs. But Netanyahu’s remarks gave the impression that the current administration does not care about Israel, which weakens the Democratic party’s commitment to Israel.”
Israel Hayom also cited a rumor that Yael Lempert who served as Senior Director for the Levant, Israel, and Egypt at the National Security Council (NSC) from 2014 to 2017 under President Barack Obama, and from June 1, 2017, was acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Egypt and North Africa, is going to be called back to serve as Anthony Blinken’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs.
Lempert, 47, who currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires of the United States to the United Kingdom, has been criticized in the past by senior Israeli officials for her pro-Palestinian positions. At the same time, she played a critical role in brokering the $38 billion security assistance agreement signed between the Obama administration and Israel, which is the largest foreign aid deal signed by the United States since WW2.
In March of 2017, Lempert accompanied Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s envoy on his visits to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and although she did not take part in the talks between the envoy and Prime Minister Netanyahu, she was involved in choosing whom Greenblatt met on both sides of the green line, Arabs and Jews, and tried to block a meeting between Greenblatt and settlement council heads. The meeting finally took place – after Netanyahu’s circle insisted on it. Lempert was singled out by right-wing reports blaming her for Trump’s change of heart regarding settlements construction in Judea and Samaria.
Daniel Horowitz noted in 2017 that “Lempert was literally Obama’s point person in the White House orchestrating his war against Israel.” And a former Clinton official told Tablet that Lempert tried to wreck the US-Israel friendship, calling her “one of the harshest critics of Israel on the foreign policy far left.”