There have been a lot of reports of behind-the-scenes conversations between Obama and Netanyahu. I’m not sure why this one should be considered any more credible just because it comes via the AP, but the overall content, if not the tone, seems reasonably plausible.
In a phone call with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro about the breakdown of the short-lived UN- and US-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vented his anger, according to people familiar with the call
Netanyahu told Shapiro the Obama administration was “not to ever second-guess me again” and that Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas, according to people familiar with the conversation. Netanyahu added that he now “expected” the US and other countries to fully support Israel’s offensive in Gaza, according to those familiar with the call. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name.
Netanyahu has already denied the report, not that this means much.
“That’s the tone of our relationship, which gets to the question of these reports that are not only of my conversation with Ambassador Shapiro but also with the President that are full of incorrections, (sic) full of distortions and are wrong both in tone and in substance.
Which means, well, conceivably anything. But what is interesting is the frequency of these reports and their consistency. Some are clearly bogus. Others are channeled through mainstream media outlets. Some may be true, others, like the call transcript that a lot people fell for, are clearly false.
So the question to be asked is who is putting out these reports and what is the agenda? There’s obviously a conflict behind the scenes. And sometimes not so behind the scenes. But with a midterm election coming up and a war in Israel, neither Obama nor Netanyahu are looking to make the conflict public.
Someone however is. Or there may be no ‘someone’. There may just be the media which has emerged as Hamas’ PR agency.