Israeli PM's new media chief nominee says Obama anti-Semitic

Israeli PM’s new media chief nominee accuses US President Obama of being anti-Semitic and US Secretary of State John Kerry has mental abilities of 12-year-old

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Ran Baratz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's nominee for media chief

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come under fire for nominating a new Communications Director, Ran Baratz.

Baratz has accused US President Barack Obama of being modern anti-Semitism in liberal western states. He also stated that the US Secretary of State John Kerry has the mental age of a 12-years-old.

Benjamin Netanyahu said that "I have just read the things that Dr Ran Baratz published on the web, including the comments about the Israeli president, the president of the United States and other public figures here and in the US. They are inappropriate and do not reflect my positions or the policies of the government," said Netanyahu.

Baratz recently said on his Facebook page that Obama's response to a speech by Netanyahu in the US Congress this year was an example of “what modern anti-Semitism looks like in Western and liberal countries."

Baratz also targeted John Kerry in an article on Mida, he called him “comical” and added that he should look for a job as a stand-up comedian.

"This is the time, then," Baratz remarked, "to wish the secretary of state success and count down two years on the calendar with the hope that someone in the State Department will then wake up and begin to see the world through the eyes of a man with a mental age above 12."

US describes the comments as "troubling and offensive"

The United States described Baratz’s comments as "troubling and offensive" and Secretary of State John Kerry has specified his displeasure to Netanyahu over the issue, the State Department announced on Thursday.

State Department spokesman John Kirby declared Kerry spoke with Netanyahu on Thursday and believed that the prime minister "will be reviewing" the appointment of Ran Baratz as his new media chief, after the Israeli leader returns from his visit to the United States.

Kirby underlined that "his comments about US officials, including the president and Secretary Kerry, we believe were troubling and offensive," and added "we obviously expect government officials from any country, especially our closest allies, to speak respectfully and truthfully about senior US government officials."

Later on Thursday, Baratz apologised to Netanyahu in a phone call and also in a statement over his Facebook page.

Afterward, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said to welcome Baratz's apology and indicated his comments would not influence the relations between Obama and Netanyahu to progress their mutual benefits.

"It's readily apparent that that apology was warranted. But obviously the decisions that Prime Minister Netanyahu has to make about who will serve his government and represent him and his country are decisions that he rightfully will make on his own," Earnest said in a news briefing.

If the Israeli cabinet accepts the nomination, Baratz would serve as close adviser of Prime Minister and be responsible for Israeli media.

TRTWorld and agencies