Barak Ravid, haaretz.com
Ran Baratz's harsh comments come to light days before Netanyahu is slated to meet with Obama for the first time in over a year.
Image from article, with caption: Ran Baratz - head of Public Diplomacy and Media at the Prime Minister's Office, founder of Mida website. June 18, 2013.
The incoming head of Israel's National Public Diplomacy Directorate has previously accused U.S. President Barack Obama of anti-Semitism. Dr. Ran Baratz posted the remarks on Facebook a few hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the U.S. Congress on March 3.
Baratz's harsh comments come to light days before Netanyahu is slated to meet with Obama at the White House. The two will convene on Monday for the first time in over a year, in the aftermath of the showdown between the White House and the prime minister's bureau over the nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu seeks to reach an agreement with Obama over a defense aid package worth tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. would transfer to Israel over the course of the next decade.
"Allow me to be harsh, contrary to my moderate habits," Baratz wrote in the March 3 post. "Obama's reference to Netanyahu's speech – this is what modern anti-Semitism looks like in Western and liberal countries. And it comes, of course, alongside much tolerance and understanding toward Islamic anti-Semitism. So much tolerance and understanding that they are willing to give [Iran] an atom[ic bomb]." ...
Baratz's appointment as the head of the public diplomacy agency caused tension between the prime minister's bureau and the President's Residence on Wednesday, after it emerged that he said President Reuven Rivlin "such a marginal figure that there is no concern" that he would be the target of an assassination. Baratz made the comment in a Facebook post less than two weeks ago, while in talks over the appointment.