Obama official to PM: Make peace if you want funeral like Peres

Former diplomat Dore Gold recounts story of Obama Administration using funeral of Shimon Peres to pressure PM into making concessions.

Gary Willig ,

Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold
Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold
Hadas Parush/Flash90

Dore Gold, the former Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, related a story which shed new light on the contentious relationship between the Obama Administration and the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Speaking to the Hebrew Makor Rishon newspaper last Friday, Gold related that when the US delegation to the funeral of former Prime Minister Shimon Peres left on Air Force One with former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry on board last September, someone on the plane 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 the Prime Minister was losing foreign support by refusing to cave into Arab demands.

The Prime Minister instructed Horowitz to respond: “Tell him that I give up the honor because I have no intention of participating in the funeral of my country.”

Gold said that he was aware of similar incidents between the two governments, and accused the Obama Administration of possessing “a kind of arrogance” about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“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.

While he remained critical of the Obama Administration's treatment of Netanyahu and approach to the Middle East, Gold said that Obama was not anti-Semitic. “I refuse to use these descriptions in regards to Obama — ‘anti-Semite,’ ‘pro-Muslim’ or ‘threw Israel under the wheels of the bus.’ Absolutely not.”