Barak Obama phones Benjamin Netanyahu

Diarmuid Breatnach

Daily Telegraph, UK

President Barack Obama has urged Israel to halt the Gaza offensive immediately, as new figures showed that 218 Palestinian children have been killed in the conflict so far.

Mr Obama telephoned Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, to press the need for a ceasefire.

The President “made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now”, said a White House statement.” 

Pres Obama on Phone

“Hello …. White House here. The President of the United States for the Prime Minister of Israel.”  

“Yes, the Prime Minister’s Chief Secretary here.  The Prime Minister is just coming …..”

“Hello, Mr. Netanyahu here.”  Netanyahu on Phone

“Hi there, Bibi, Barak here.  How are you?”  

“Very well, thank you Barak.  Yourself?  And Michelle?”  

“We’re both fine, thanks, Bibi.”  

“And the kids?  

“All fine, Bibi.”  

“What can I do for you, Barak?”  

“I’m calling about the Gaza situation, Bibi.  Very concerning to us here.  It’s a public relations nightmare, to be honest.”

“You’re surely not paying any attention to the network of anti-semites around the world, Barak?”  

“They are not all anti-semites, Bibi. Some of them are even close friends of Israel. Here in the White House, for example. The bad publicity this is generating is very bad for Israel.”  

“It’s OK, Barak — we’re used to it and we can handle it.”

“Perhaps you can, Bibi … perhaps you can … but the point is, WE can’t.”  

“What do you mean by that?”  

“I mean, Bibi, that the USA cannot be seen to be condoning the massacre of 1,000 Palestinians …”  

Terrorists, Mr. President!  Israel is teaching them a lesson and showing the world that we won’t be pushed around.”  

“Are you seriously telling me that the 218 dead Palestinian children were terrorists, Bibi?”

“Some of them probably were, Mr. President – they start them young. And the rest are being used as human shields. Do you expect us to just turn the other cheek as we are bombarded by rockets?”  

“Bombarded, Bibi?  You and we have been putting that line out for years but it just won’t fly any more.  Not now.  The killing has to stop.”

“Of course …. when the terrorists …”

“No, no, Prime Minister. You’re not hearing me. Israel must stop NOW!”  

“Is that your personal opinion, Mr. President? Or of US society?  Including our Christian and Jewish friends among your supporters?”  

“It’s the opinion of the President of the United States, Prime Minister Netanyahu.  And of most of us here now.  Your chief international ally and, not to mince words, your funder to the tune of billions of dollars.  The bombing and shelling must stop …. unconditionally.  So that we can go on supporting Israel without losing all credibility in the international arena.”

(long silence)  

“I’ll convey your message to our Cabinet, Mr. President.  But I must say I am very disappointed.”  

“It’s in your interests too, Bibi, though you can’t seem to see it.”  

“Goodbye, Mr. President.”  

“Goodbye, Mr. Prime Minister.”


(end conversation)


Originally written and posted on my Facebook 28 July 2014. Israel agreed to a ceasefire on August 9th, after shelling a UN school, killing many Palestinian civilians who had taken refuge there. Earlier they had warned Palestinians to leave their homes, allegedly so as to allow the Israeli Occupation Forces to attack Hamas without killing civilians.

By the time of the ceasefire Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza had << ….. left 2,168 Palestinians dead, 1,662 of those were civilians including 519 children and 297 women – almost 40% of those killed were women and children. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Palestinian health officials as saying that “89 entire families were killed by Israeli bombardments.” Some 500,000 people were forcibly displaced during the attack, and at least 100,000 of those are permanently homeless as their residences were “destroyed or severely damaged” according to the UN.

<<The UN also reported that as of 18 August, “230 schools (140 governmental and 90 UNRWA schools) affected by shelling are in need of repair, including 25 severely damaged requiring reconstruction … another two higher education facilities were affected by shelling, bringing the total number of facilities in need of repair to two universities and four colleges.” In addition to this disruption to the right to education, the UN estimates that 400,000 Gazan children “are in need of psychological care as a result of not just the latest war in the territory but the three previous conflicts … symptoms range from nightmares, bed-wetting and behavioral regression to more debilitating mental anxiety, including an inability to process or verbalize experiences”.

<<On the Israeli side, it has been reported that 71 Israelis were killed by Palestinian fighters, including 5 civilians, one of whom was a child. One civilian foreign national was also killed in a rocket strike.>>

Text between << and >> symbols taken from:

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