While everyone's attention is glued on Russia and whether Obama can successfully launch World War III, things are going from bad to worse when it also comes to US relations with Israel. Recall that here things were already on the verge of disaster after for some reason, Kerry was unleashed to "arrange" a ceasefire with Israel, when in reality the SecState somehow managed to infuriate every single feuding faction (there are a lot of them), Israel included, after Haaretz wrote that "Kerry ruined everything."
So what happened next? Something rather stunning according to the US State Department, and which according to BBC reporter Paul Danahar, constitutes "a severe violation of a private discussions" - Israel’s Channel 1 decided to publish a Hebrew transcript of a portion of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama’s telephone conversation which took place on Sunday, in which Obama was insistent that Israel unilaterally halt all military activities in the Gaza Strip. As is quite clear by now, Israel rejected, and the bloodshed continued.
The transcript, as shown by the Times of Israel was as follows:
The following is an English translation of the Hebrew account of the talk given in the report:
Barack Obama: I demand that Israel agrees to an immediate, unilateral ceasefire and halt all offensive activities, in particular airstrikes.
Benjamin Netanyahu: And what will Israel receive in exchange for a ceasefire?
BO: I believe that Hamas will cease its rocket fire — silence will be met with silence.
BN: Hamas broke all five previous ceasefires. It’s a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
BO: I repeat and expect Israel to stop all its military activities unilaterally. The pictures of destruction in Gaza distance the world from Israel’s position.
BN: Kerry’s proposal was completely unrealistic and gives Hamas military and diplomatic advantages.
BO: Within a week of the end of Israel’s military activities, Qatar and Turkey will begin negotiations with Hamas based on the 2012 understandings, including Israel’s commitment to removing the siege and restrictions on Gaza.
BN: Qatar and Turkey are the biggest supporters of Hamas. It’s impossible to rely on them to be fair mediators.
BO: I trust Qatar and Turkey. Israel is not in the position that it can choose its mediators.
BN: I protest because Hamas can continue to launch rockets and use tunnels for terror attacks –
BO: (interrupting Netanyahu) The ball’s in Israel’s court, and it must end all its military activities.
One can quickly see why the US would quickly disavow any credibility of this report: after all it wouldn't look very good for the leader of the free world if the leader of another state, one which on top of it all is reliant on the former for continued military and economic support, flat out rejected what amounted to a demand from the US. As expected the denial was prompt with the US administration calling the quotations "fabrications", "shocking", and "disappointing"
It took mere minutes for the National Security Council to deny the transcript was even remotely accurate:
We have seen reports of an alleged POTUS-Netanyahu transcript; neither reports nor alleged transcript bear any resemblance to reality 1/2
— @NSCPress (@NSCPress) July 29, 2014
Shocking and disappointing someone would sink to misrepresenting a pvt convo between POTUS and PM in fabrications to Israeli press 2/2
— @NSCPress (@NSCPress) July 29, 2014
Sure enough, it wouldn't look good if only the US denied so Netanyahu had to step in, which he did:
The Prime Minister’s Office says in a statement that the Channel 1 report is false, using precisely the same words as the White House.
“We have seen these reports, and neither the reports nor the alleged transcript bear any resemblance to reality. It’s shocking and disappointing that someone would sink to misrepresenting a private conversation between the President and the Prime Minister in fabrications to the Israeli press,” the PMO says.
Despite the denials, Israel's Channel 1 refused to retract the leaked statement. Worse, it revealed the source of the leak as a "senior American official."
Despite rejections by American and Israeli officials, Channel 1?s Or Nahari insists that the transcript leaked to him by a “senior American official” is authentic, but acknowledges that the quotes he published were merely an excerpt from a long conversation.
All of which leads to three quite disturbing, for Obama, possibilities:
- With Russia clearly ignoring US "superpower" status and openly defying not only the US, but Europe, and hence NATO, Obama now has another foreign relations disaster on his hands, where a former close ally of the US is now openly refusing to bow down to US demands.
- There is a leak in the highest echelons of US power, one which appears focused on exposing the administration in a position of weakness
- The media tactics of fabrication and lies, so prevalent in the US vs Russia proxy war through the Ukraine, have now seeped over into US-Israel relations.
Whichever one of these is the truth, it simply means that the old Pax Americana world, in which the word of the US president was final, is no more, and first Russia (and thus the BRICs), and now such staunch allies as Israel, are clearly defying the former. Or perhaps one should add former superpower?
As for John Kerry, just stick a fork in him already as per the following clip.