Likud Defends Netanyahu After Report Gates Called Him 'Ungrateful'

PM's party also accuses Livni's Kadima of 'bowing to international pressure' on Israel, after opposition leader says quotes attributed to former U.S. defense secretary proves 'Netanyahu’s danger to Israel'.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party fired back Tuesday at former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who reportedly described the prime minister as an “ungrateful” ally and a “danger to Israel” in a closed meeting with top U.S officials in early July.

“Most Israelis support Netanyahu’s positions," Likud officials said in response to the report, adding that the Israeli prime minister enjoyed “broad support” in the United States.

Benjamin Netanyahu at an April 2010 Likud meeting in Tel Aviv. Alon Ron
Alon Ron

The party further stated that Netanyahu would continue to “stand firm against international pressure in order to protect Israel’s interests”, and stressed the prime minister’s continuous attempts to bring the Palestinian leadership back to the negotiating table.

The Likud leadership also shot back at opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) who said the quotes attributed to Gates are proof of “Netanyahu’s danger to Israel”, by accusing the opposition party “bows to international pressure” on Israel.

Kadima is the “same party that allowed for Hamas to participate in the Gaza elections", the Likud officials said, going further as to say that the opposition party is  responsible for the rise of Hamas, a movement  "armed with thousands of missiles that harm Israeli civilians in the south.”