Danny Danon: Obama 'Yelled' at Netanyahu in Ceasefire Demand

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 05:15 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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President Barack Obama "yelled'' at Benjamin Netanyahu during a tense phone conversation as he demanded that the Israeli prime minister agree to an unconditional, humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, a former Israeli defense official told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

"It was not a pleasant conversation if you saw what happened . . . it was not pleasant,'' Danny Danon — a Likud party member of the Knesset and Netanyahu's former deputy minister of defense — said on "The Steve Malzberg Show.''

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"He was yelling and telling Prime Minister Netanyahu what he should do and what he should not do.

"I tell you very frankly, we have a very close relationship with the U.S. — the strongest ally of Israel. But this is not a way to treat the leader of an ally country.''

According to Danon, the fireworks erupted as Obama urged a permanent end to the hostilities between Israel and Hamas, which last week began firing rockets at key Israeli cities, prompting retaliation.

But Obama's tone was uncalled for, Danon said.

"He is not talking, President Obama, with a leader of the Taliban. He is talking with the leader of the state of Israel, of the Jewish people, and when we are in a time of war. We need the backing and the support of the U.S. Unfortunately, we do not have it now,'' Danon said.

"[It's] not pleasant, to hear such a voice when you have so much pressure.''

Danon added that he thinks a permanent ceasefire is impossible for now as Hamas continues fighting.

"I can tell you it is not easy for us when we see our boys being buried on a daily basis,'' he said.

"As we speak now, when I'm on my way to Jerusalem, we have air-raid sirens going off and we are still under attack from rocket attacks as we speak.

"So, this is not a time when you expect to get to such a conversation of such an attitude from a friend.''

Earlier this month, Netanyahu fired Danon after he publicly criticized government decisions during Israel's battle with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Specifically, Danon attacked a decision to accept an Egyptian-proposed ceasefire, saying:

"Once again Hamas is setting the tone for this operation. We must retake the initiative and correct the mistake made in this morning's cabinet meeting."

Hamas did not accept the ceasefire terms, and the fighting has continued.

"I urge Prime Minister Netanyahu and my friends in the cabinet to be strong now and to do whatever is good for Israel, even if it means to tell President Obama, no, we cannot satisfy your wishes or your pressure to sign a ceasefire, which would be bad for Israel now,'' Danon told host Steve Malzberg.

He also was critical of the Obama administration's handling of the conflict.

"It is an insult the way President Obama is treating Israel and Secretary [of State John] Kerry is treating Israel. It is an insult for us,'' he said.

"The demand to have a ceasefire . . . is unacceptable. The U.S. knows how to fight al-Qaida and the Taliban, and we are fighting Hamas . . . You don't beg for a ceasefire.

"What we have seen in the last few days, Secretary Kerry is trying to put the pressure on Netanyahu to accept the ceasefire where we cannot continue to fight against Hamas . . .  This we should not accept . . . Israel should fight with Hamas until we're finished with Hamas.''

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