by Isi Leibler
August 4, 2014
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The US is Israel’s most important ally. It has provided us with arms and only last week Congress granted us additional funds to further develop the Iron Dome. It has also used its political clout to deflect hostile resolutions and sanctions at the international level.
But we should be under no illusions. The US- Israel relationship is under great strain. Notwithstanding cryptic statements by both the Israeli and US governments denying the veracity of extracts of a toxic telephone conversation between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barak Obama, Israeli TV Channel One’s highly respected Foreign News Editor, Oren Nahari, adamantly stands by his story, stressing that his source was a reliable senior US official and not the PM’s department.
The president is alleged to have harshly demanded that Netanyahu accept an immediate unilateral cease-fire and informed him that the US was committed to ending the blockade of Gaza. Netanyahu pointed out that the U.S. Administration was undermining the cease-fire by substituting Egyptian mediation with Qatar and Turkey, reminding Obama that the Moslem Brotherhood-aligned Qatar finances and provides arms to Hamas and other terrorist groups including ISIS. He could have also pointed out that Turkey’s demagogic Prime Minister has been stoking hysterical anti-Israeli sentiment and vile anti-Semitism, even demanding that his own Jewish community condemn Israel.
President Obama allegedly responded by telling Netanyahu that he was not in a position to advise America who should act as mediators. Lending credence to this exchange was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who, a few days later, told CNN that the US must cooperate with the Qataris “who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization”. It is mind-boggling that a Democratic congressional leader can describe as “humanitarian”, a genocidal organization with similar objectives to Al Qaeda, whose charter explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.
There were also tense exchanges between the PM’s Department and Secretary of State John Kerry, now notorious for his inappropriate comments and contradictory statements.
There have been efforts by both parties to calm the waters. US officials have reiterated their commitment to Israel and re-endorsed Israel’s right to defend itself. President Obama has now, belatedly, followed the lead of the Europeans and includes the demilitarization of Gaza as an issue to be negotiated in conjunction with the lifting of the blockade after cessation of hostilities.
But there is no disputing that President Obamahasconsciously or otherwise shielded Hamas. This is not a conflict in which the US should act as a mediator or even hint at moral equivalency. This conflict was thrust upon us by a terrorist group promoting a culture of death and martyrdom reflected in the oft quoted Hamas slogan: “Jews wish for life and we wish for a martyr’s death”. We are not confronting an entity seeking independence. It is a conflict between good and evil.
We would have expected our ally to allocate the …read more