Robert Gates’ antipathy for Benjamin Netanyahu

Jeffrey Goldberg, in reference to Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by former defense secretary Robert Gates, highlights his views about the Israeli prime minister:

Gates writes that he found Netanyahu so offensive that he once tried to get him banned from the White House: “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.”

Lest you think that Gates has hard feelings about other Israeli leaders, or Israel itself, I would note that he goes out of the way to express an emotional attachment to the Jewish state. In reference to a welcoming ceremony at the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv, he writes that “seeing the Stars and Stripes and the Star of David flying together always moved me.” He also makes repeated mention of his close relationship with Ehud Barak, the former prime minister and former defense minister, and expresses obvious pride in the work he did at the Defense Department to strengthen Israel’s military.

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