That’s what Jake Tapper was told by a “senior administration official:”
I’m told there won’t be any daylight between the US and Israel in the aftermath of the incident on the flotilla yesterday, which resulted in the deaths of 10 activists.
Regardless of the details of the flotilla incident, sources say President Obama is focused on what he sees as the longer term issue here: a successful Mideast peace process. …
The suggestion is that US condemnation of Israel would further isolate that country, and make further peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians even more difficult.
The senior administration official says that President Obama spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu three times on Monday. Mr. Obama pushed the notion that last night – as the United Nations Security Council met to issue a statement about the incident – was the moment when the US had maximum leverage, that the longer the statement was being debated the worse it would ultimately be for Israel.
Ultimately, as the statement was negotiated over night, the US succeeded in making it more neutral where other nations wanted it to criticize and condemn Israel.
Let’s hope Tapper’s report turns out to be correct. What is really important, I think, is that the U.S. government continue to support the Gaza blockade. Everything else follows from that: if the blockade is legitimate, it follows that Israeli troops are entitled to board ships that refuse to respect it. That, by definition, is what a blockade is. As for the horrific violence aboard one of the six ships, the videos show conclusively that it was initiated by pro-Palestinian thugs on board the vessel. They should be roundly condemned; we hope that Obama will do so.