The fallout continues for Benjamin Netanyahu’s selection for his next diplomacy chief a conservative academic who has suggested that President Obama was anti-Semitic and that Secretary of State John Kerry was someone “whose mental age doesn’t exceed 12.”
Netanyahu has delayed his appointment of Ran Baratz, who he had selected for a role that would make him a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, the Huffington Post reported. The suspension comes after Baratz apologized for the remarks and for not telling Netanyahu about them. The prime minister has said he was unaware of the comments until they were brought to light after Baratz’s appointment was announced Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the White House — which will host Netanyahu next week — has weighed in on the backlash. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said it was up to Netanyahu who he appointed, but added that Baratz’s apology “was warranted,” according to The Jerusalem Post.
The controversy comes at an unfortunate time for Netanyahu, who is traveling to the United States, it is believed, to make amends with the Democratic politicians he scorned over the Iran deal.
Baratz had written in Facebook post earlier this year that Obama’s criticism of a speech Netanyahu made railing against the Iran deal was “how modern anti-Semitism looks like in the modern Western world.”