Et Tu Bibi?
Netanyahu publicly praised Trump's 'decisive' strike on Iran's Soleimani. In private, not so much.
The reaction from most U.S. allies to President Trump's order to kill Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani ranged from tepid to downright frosty, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "stood out in emphatically cheering the Soleimani operation," The Washington Post reports. Netanyahu praised Trump for "acting swiftly, forcefully, and decisively," and said "Israel stands with the United States in its just struggle for peace, security, and self-defense."
But that's as far as Netanyahu was willing to go, or let his Cabinet go, and in private, he pointedly washed his hands of Soleimani's death, Barak Ravid reports at Axios, citing two ministers who attended a Security Cabinet meeting Monday. "Netanyahu told ministers that the only thing they can say to the media if they are asked about the Soleimani killing is that Israel supports the U.S. and its right to defend itself," and the prime minister himself said Israel should not get "dragged into" what's exclusively a U.S. operation.
"Like other countries in the region, Israel is concerned that Iran will retaliate against it in order to avenge the killing of Soleimani," Ravid says, adding that the Mossad chief and the head of military intelligence told Netanyahu's Cabinet Monday that Israel's low profile after Soleimani's killing has reduced the chance of Iranian retribution.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized other U.S. allies for not embracing the drone hit. "The Brits, the French, the Germans all need to understand that what we did — what the Americans did — saved lives in Europe as well," he told Fox News Sunday. But Germany and Slovakia said Monday that they have at least temporarily moved some of the military personnel from Iraq out of concerns over Iranian reprisals, Reuters reports.