Israeli officials responding to the latest pressure from US President Barack Obama said the American leader is weak and naive, suggesting that Washington, which today has little leverage anywhere else in the Middle East, is trying to strong-arm the Jewish state.
The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported that the Obama Administration had held up a delivery of missiles to Israel during its war against Gaza’s Hamas terrorist infrastructure.
In a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the same day, Obama reportedly repeated his demand that Israel implement an immediate, unilateral, unconditional and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.
The frozen missile shipment would appear to be a pressure tactic to get Israel to acquiesce to Obama’s demands, which Israeli officials have said only serve the interests of Hamas and terrorists throughout the region.
The month-long Gaza war was rife with diplomatic confrontations between Israel and the United States.
When Secretary of State John Kerry proposed a ceasefire deal drawn up in coordination with Hamas allies Turkey and Qatar, Israelis from the highest levels of government to the average man on the street were left wondering if America was still their ally.
Officials on both sides have been frantically working to downplay the worsening relations.
“The allegations are unfounded,” said Israel’s ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer. “Israel deeply appreciates the support we have received during the recent conflict in Gaza from…the Obama administration.”
“We know nothing of this,” an Israeli government official told 0404 News in relation to the Journal report, claiming that “relations between Netanyahu and Obama are much improved.”
But the Israeli press was unimpressed by the denials, and news of the “deepening rift” between America and the Jewish state was the leading headline on nearly every Israeli media outlet Thursday morning.
Many speculated that Netanyahu knows well the workings of the American government, and is content to wait out a hostile Obama White House knowing that Congress will shield Israel from any truly severe measures.