The Corner

Official: U.S. to Back Israel Over Flotilla Incident

Jake Tapper reports from a senior administration official that President Obama will not condemn Israel over the Gaza flotilla incident:

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 president has always said that it will be much easier for Israel to make peace if it feels secure,” a senior administration official tells ABC News.

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.

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