Netanyahu to review new head of communication

Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will “review” the appointment of his new communications director after it has been made public that he has criticised US President Barack Obama and others.

It was on Facebook that the head of communications, Ran Baratz, accused Obama of anti-Semitism and described US Secretary of State John Kerry as having a “mental age” of no more than 12. Netanyahu has described the comments as totally unacceptable.

He is due to visit the White House next week for a US-Israeli summit.

Israeli officials say Mr Baratz will not be accompanying him.

US state department spokesman John Kirby said Mr Baratz’s Facebook posts were “troubling and offensive”.

He said: “We obviously expect government officials from any country, especially our closest allies, to speak respectfully and truthfully about senior US government officials.”

“The secretary spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu this morning and we understand that the prime minister will be reviewing this appointment when he returns from his visit to the United States.”