Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Adviser under the Obama administration, appeared on Jewish Currents Editor-at-large Peter Beinart's Occupied Thoughts podcast recently and took aim at Israel's right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him "corrupt and cruel" while leveling other criticisms of the conservative pro-Israel community.
Unsurprisingly, Rhodes' comments were criticized by some Jewish Groups. But in a tweet this Thursday, former CIA Director Mike Pompeo said that Rhodes' "corrupt and cruel" comment was aimed at "all Jews."
"Ben Rhodes told @J_Insider that @netanyahu — and all Jews — are 'corrupt and cruel.' While this view is taking root among some Democrats, does President Biden agree? I hope not," Pompeo wrote.
Pompeo's tweet sparked a huge wave of backlash, mostly from people accusing him of lying about what Rhodes said.
Rhodes himself slammed Pompeo, saying, "Outright and offensive lies and disinformation are at the center of the right wing authoritarian political project in this country today. They have to create an alternate world because they can't win debates or elections in the real one."
Would you buy a used car from Mike Pompeo? I rest my case. This never happened. https://t.co/96VauKNohm
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) February 19, 2021
Aside from the fact this is a vicious lie, the underlying logic here is worth thinking about. Pompeo's comments only make sense if you see Netanyahu as the King of the Jews who deserves total fealty from his people (Rhodes is half-Jewish). That's a very stupid and dangerous idea https://t.co/50Wo0AGVmK
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) February 19, 2021
This outrageous lie is just still up here FYI https://t.co/Lz8Hi01EIc
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) February 19, 2021
So Pompeo is obviously lying about this but bc Rhodes is himself Jewish, Pompeo has also lied his way into an interesting variant of the liar paradox https://t.co/XyDaDEfmFh
— dylan matthews (@dylanmatt) February 19, 2021
Delete this tweet, Mr. Secretary. You made that up. https://t.co/1kRTeT6eJM
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 19, 2021
Nobody wants to hear from you blimp!! https://t.co/k8IK832HZy
— Toni (@Toni45683078) February 19, 2021
This is a disgusting, brazen lie from the failed former Secretary of State. Lies like this undermine efforts to combat real antisemitism, and this garbage tells you everything you need to know about Pompeo's character. https://t.co/4vv9gkY6gl
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) February 18, 2021