In a 35-minute phone call between Obama and Netanyahu on July 27, Obama started the conversation by demanding that Israel immediately declare a cease-fire and cease any offensive actions.
Obama: “I demand that Israel agree to an immediate unilateral ceasefire and cease all offensive action, especially airstrikes.”
When Netanyahu asked what Israel will get for this action, Obama answered vaguely, “I believe that Hamas will end the rocket attacks.” Netanyahu reminded Obama that Hamas has violated five previous ceasefires and is a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Obama refused to listen and repeated his expectation of Israel ceasing all military operations.
In this video, Steve Malzberg is in a phone interview with former Israeli Defense Minister Danny Danon about the conversation between Obama and Netanyahu:
MALZBERG: “Would any ceasefire have to include, if they accept any, would it have to include Israel’s right to continue to get the tunnels, and continue to keep the troops in Gaza, and continue to strike back at rocket launches?”
DANON: “Well, I don’t know if it was published in the U.S., but here in Israel we all talk about the phone conversation between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu. And it was not a pleasant conversation. If you saw what happened there, it was not pleasant.
MALZBERG: “Danny, was there a threat by President Obama?”
He was yelling and telling Prime Minister Netanyahu what he should do and what he should not do
DANON: “He was yelling and telling Prime Minister Netanyahu what he should do and what he should not do. And I will tell you frankly, we have very close relationship with the U.S.. It’s not just ally of Israel. But this is not a way to treat the leader of an ally country. He’s not talking, President Obama, with a leader of the Taliban. He’s talking with the leader of the State of Israel, of the Jewish people. And when we are in a time of war, we need to back in with the support of the U.S.. Unfortunately, we do not have it now. 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 do, we cannot satisfy your wishes or your pressure to sign a ceasefire, which would be bad for Israel now.”
MALZBERG: “Danny, one of the reports I did read about that conversation was that there was a threat, the cut-off of aid, not completely, but of some form of aid to Israel. Do you know anything about that?”
DANON: “No, I have to tell you that I am aware of the support that we have in both Houses, from the American people. And I think President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, they are all aware that we have good friends in need in the U.S. that will not allow the President to halt the connection between the American people and the Israelis. But it is not pleasant to hear such a voice when you have so much pressure. I can tell you it is not easy for us when we see our boys being buried on a daily basis. And we see that on a daily basis we have missiles. Even as we speak now, and I am on my way to Jerusalem, we had air raid sirens going off and we are still under attacks, rocket attacks, as we speak. So it’s not a time when you expect to get such a conversation or such attitude from a friend.”