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January 23, 2017 9:40 pm

Ex-Israeli Official Reveals Never Before Told Story Highlighting Fraught Obama-Netanyahu Relationship

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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US President Barack Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife at Shimon Peres' funeral. Photo: Twitter.

US President Barack Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at Shimon Peres’ funeral in September. Photo: Twitter.

A former top Israeli diplomatic official revealed a never-before told story that shed further light on the fraught personal relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former US President Barack Obama, in an interview published Friday.

Dore Gold — who was until recently the director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry — told the Hebrew newspaper Makor Rishon that after the September funeral of the late Israeli statesman Shimon Peres, someone from Air Force One — on which Obama, then-Secretary of State John Kerry and former President Bill Clinton were aboard — called Netanyahu’s chief of staff Yoav Horowitz and told him, “Tell your boss if he wants a funeral like Peres’, he should begin to move, to go forward,” the implication being that Netanyahu should be more flexible when it comes to the peace process with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu, according to Gold, told Horowitz to respond, “Tell him that I give up the honor because I have no intention of participating in the funeral of my country.”

Later in the Makor Rishon interview, Gold accused the Obama administration of having demonstrated a “kind of arrogance” when it came to its Middle East policies.

“They developed a vision, according to which no matter what the Arabs say or what the Israelis say, they know better the needs of both sides,” Gold said.

Despite his criticism of the Obama administration’s policies, Gold noted, “I refuse to use these descriptions in regards to Obama — ‘antisemite,’ ‘pro-Muslim’ or ‘threw Israel under the wheels of the bus.’ Absolutely not.”

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