JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister said Wednesday that verbal attacks against him from the United States were because he was ‘‘defending Israel’’ and vowed to carry on with his policies despite the vitriolic rhetoric.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks to Parliament followed a report in The Atlantic this week in which unidentified US officials lambasted the prime minister for his settlement policies and for undermining US peace efforts. The officials derided Netanyahu as cowardly and recalcitrant, among other insults.
The report reverberated throughout Israel, with some coming to his defense while others pointing to them as an indication of just how bad relations between the two close allies have gotten under Netanyahu’s watch.
Netanyahu responded that those who attack him do so because he defends Israel, and emphasized he was ‘‘not prepared to make concessions that will endanger our state.’’
‘‘Our supreme interests, with security and the unity of Jerusalem first and foremost, are not among the top concerns of those anonymous elements that are attacking us and me personally,’’ he said.
Alistair Baskey, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said the comments in The Atlantic do not reflect the administration’s views.
‘‘We think such comments are inappropriate and counterproductive,’’ he said, before adding, ‘‘Despite the extremely close relationship between the US and Israel, we do not agree on every issue.’’
The Obama administration has long had a tense relationship with Netanyahu for his close relationship with the Republican Party and for what is often perceived as a lecturing tone toward the president. Netanyahu, meanwhile, has been suspicious of US efforts to reach a diplomatic agreement over Iran’s nuclear program that fails to remove the threat of it acquiring a bomb.