It’s the latest chapter in the right’s Obama-hates-Israel storyline: A top Obama adviser allegedly told Jewish leaders on a private conference call that the administration is pressuring Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians in a manner that’s at odds with Obama’s public position on the conflict.But I’ve now spoken to two major figures in the Jewish community who were on the call — both of whom are widely regarded to have impeccable pro-Israel credentials — and they tell me that the claim is false.
there was no discussion whatsoever of pressuring Israel to come to the table absent a recognition by Hamas of the Quartet Principles — which demand recognition of Israel, renouncing terrorism, and abiding by past agreements. They both asserted that on the call, Simon merely restated Obama’s public position on these issues.
“I don’t know how anyone in their wildest imagination got the idea that there was any implication of any additional pressure on Israel,” Eizenstat told me. “Quite the contrary — the call was meant as reassurance of the President’s position on not negotiating with Hamas” if they don’t accept the Quartet principles.