Bibi says 'no thanks' to Obama offer to broker cease fire with Hamas
Some surprisingly strong support from the Obama administration for Israel's right to respond to Hamas missile attacks. But Prime Minister Netanyahu declined President Obama's offer to mediate between the warring parties, saying a cease fire "wasn't even on the agenda."
The United States is prepared to facilitate a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, US President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu by phone today.
In the call, Obama "reiterated the United States’ strong condemnation of continuing rocket fire into Israel by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against these attacks," the White House said in a readout of the conversation.
But Netanyahu has ruled out a ceasefire with Hamas in the short-term. On the contrary, the Israeli leader has vowed a series of additional stages to Operation Protective Edge— his government's response to continued rocket fire on Israeli towns and cities, after Hamas, a terrorist organization, stockpiled tens of thousands of rockets in the coastal territory over the last several years.
A ceasefire is "not even on the agenda," Netanyahu told members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, just hours before his call with the US leader.
The president also expressed concern, the press secretary's office continued, "about the risk of further escalation and emphasized the need for all sides to do everything they can to protect the lives of civilians and restore calm."
The two discussed the impetus for the crisis: the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, one of whom was also an American citizen. They also discussed a revenge attack in East Jerusalem by extremist Israelis against an innocent Arab teenager, which compounded the crisis.
Obama "acknowledged," the White House added, "Israel’s efforts to resolve this case."
"I would remind you who is at fault here, and that is Hamas," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday, facing a series of accusatory questions from a Palestinian journalist for al-Quds TV in Washington.
The words of support from the president and the State Department are in sharp contrast to the violent criticism of Israel by Obama’s Middle East envoy Philip Gordon, who spoke at Haaretz’s “peace” conference.
It was a jaw dropping performance.
Gordon blamed Israel for the failure for the administration’s efforts to broker a peace deal between Israel and the PLO while effusively praising Fatah leader and Hamas partner Abbas.
And it only went down from there.
After insisting Israel is inadequately committed to peace, Gordon threatened to withdraw US support for Israel at the UN and open the door to the criminalization of Israel by the corrupt international body.
“How will we prevent other states from supporting Palestinian efforts in international bodies, if Israel is not seen as committed to peace?” he asked rhetorically.
Gordon’s remarks were not disputed by the State Department.
Glick believes that Hamas is encouraged to keep up the attacks because of rhetoric like this and it's hard to argue with her. The president and State Department offer soothing words of support to shore up their Jewish base while savaging Israel in international forums in order to placate Muslims. This is why Bibi hates Obama and considers him a feckless ally.
Bottom line: Israel will continue their military campaign against Hamas rockets and missiles, as well as Hamas weapons caches and command and control targets, until they believe they have reached their objectives. No amount of jawboning from an American president they don't even trust will make a difference.