Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, hit the Obama administration on Wednesday over an official calling the Israeli prime minister a "chickenshit."
“I was shocked and disappointed on reading the comments in The Atlantic," Engel said in a statement. "I call upon the Administration to reassert the importance of the relationship between the United States and Israel, and to reaffirm that the bonds between our two countries are unbreakable.
"I realize that two allies, such as the United States and Israel, are not going to agree on everything, but I think it is counterproductive and unprofessional for Administration officials to air their dirty laundry in such a public way," he added. "I am getting tired of hearing about the leaks and denials. This ought to be the last time we hear of such talk because it is getting to a point where nobody believes the denials anymore.”
Engel is responding to an article in The Atlantic detailing the Obama administration's frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The article quotes a senior Obama administration official as calling Netanyahu a "chickenshit."
The statement from Engel, known as a strong supporter of Israel, adds a Democratic voice to Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE's (R-Ohio) criticism of the comments. BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE called on President Obama to "clean house" after the comments.
The White House on Wednesday called the comments "inappropriate and counterproductive."