Israel’s new Public Relations Director has accused Barack Obama of anti-Semitism, and described U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as having the mental abilities of a 12-year-old – and unsurprisingly, the State Department is not happy about it.
Ran Baratz was named head of public diplomacy and media Wednesday – and suspended from the role only a few hours later. Last March, Baratz said Obama's response to a speech by Netanyahu to the U.S. Congress "was what modern anti-Semitism looks like in Western and liberal countries."
In October 2014, he said that “This is the time, then, to wish the secretary of state success and count down two years on the calendar with the hope that someone in the State Department will then wake up and begin to see the world through the eyes of a man with a mental age above 12," in response to Kerry's criticism of Israel.
Netanyahu noted he was unaware of the comments prior to the appointment, and distanced himself from them, saying, "I have just read the things that Dr. Ran Baratz published on the web, including the comments about the Israeli president, the president of the United States, and other public figures here and in the U.S. They are inappropriate and do not reflect my positions or the policies of the government."
Dr. Baratz apologized on his Facebook page, noting “I apologize for the harmful things I published in relation to the [Israeli] president, the U.S. president, and other public officials. I am sorry that I did not inform the [Israeli] Prime Minister before I wrote them. Things that I published were written in jest, and with a jocular tone, in a language that works for social networks and as a private person. It is clear to me that a governmental official should behave and express themselves differently.”