Below is how Obama, with Schultz’s silence about it all, helped screw Israel on the ‘Gaza Flotilla’ issue that gave Israel so much bad press and Obama’s desire to topple Netayahu in the process. That is the “J Street” position that Schultz also disgracefully supports
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
White House rejected Israeli intel, blocked use of anti-riot gear against flotilla
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama stopped Israel from using anti-riot gear to prevent a Turkish-sponsored flotilla from breaking the siege on the Gaza Strip.
Diplomatic sources said the White House rejected Israeli intelligence assessments that the six-ship flotilla contained weapons and Islamist fighters trained to resist any boarding operation. The sources, privy to Israeli-U.S. government communications, said Obama and his leading aides pressed Israel against any act that would be deemed excessive force.
“The White House demanded that Israel exercise extreme caution and restraint in any scenario,” a diplomatic source said.
The Obama administration demands were relayed through Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak
and Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor, the sources said. They said Barak, who has sought advanced weapons from Washington, persuaded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree that the Israel Navy would not use anti-riot equipment, including tear gas, to stop the flotilla. http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2010/me_israel0503_06_08.asp
The sources said the Israeli intelligence community had informed the White House that the flotilla contained scores of Turks trained in weapons and hand-to-hand combat. They said the Turkish-flagged ship Marmara was believed to have contained weapons and components ordered by the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip.
In the end, Netanyahu approved a plan for the Israel Navy to board Marmara with commandos armed with paintball guns. The commandos were quickly overpowered by Turkish fighters until the Israeli commander ordered live fire, which killed nine passengers, eight of them Turks.
Obama, whose aides were said to have been in contact with the flotilla, did not condemn the Israeli naval interception. But within hours of the bloody clash, the president withdrew his invitation to Netanyahu to come to the White House.
“The last thing the president wanted was to stand next to Netanyahu as
he defended this action and blasted Hamas and its supporters in the
West,” another source said.
The sources said Barak and Netanyahu decided on the details of the interception without consulting a seven-member security Cabinet committee. Later, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon, a former chief of staff, asserted that the naval operation had endangered the
“The prime minister decided to settle everything with the defense minister,” Ya’alon was quoted as saying. “Netanyahu shouldn’t have left such fateful decisions to an irresponsible defense minister drunk with power.”
In wake of the clash, Obama has sought to ease tensions with Turkey. On June 2, Obama telephoned Prime Minister Recep Erdogan amid rising Islamist threats against Turkey’s Christian and Jewish communities. The following day, a Roman Catholic bishop was killed by an alleged Islamist.
“Obama told Erdogan ‘Don’t rock the boat too much. We’ll take care of business,'” another diplomatic source said. “It was a very friendly message.”
On June 4, the administration, which reinvited Netanyahu, demanded the easing of Israel’s
siege of the Gaza Strip. The White House said the United States
was working with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to “develop new procedures for delivering more goods and assistance to Gaza, while also increasing opportunity for the people of Gaza and preventing the importation of weapons.”
“The current arrangements are unsustainable and must be changed,” White House spokesman Mike Hammer said. “For now, we call on all parties to join us in encouraging responsible decisions by all sides to avoid any unnecessary confrontations and to ensure the safety of all involved.”