Obama Moves to Defend Hamas

Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House in 2010

The Times of Israel reports:

A senior Israeli official confirmed to Israeli media that the US had suspended a shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel amid worsening ties over fighting in Gaza.

According to the report, the Israeli official corroborated a story published earlier in the Wall Street JournalWhile the article focuses mainly on the souring relationship between Netanyahu and Obama, it pays a decent amount of attention to the fact that both the White House and the State Department are actively working to block the shipment of arms to Israel.

The decision to evaluate every request by the Israeli military separately came after the White House and State Department discovered last month that the Pentagon was supplying Jerusalem with arms without their knowledge, the newspaper report said.

While one US diplomat described the American reaction to the arms transfer as a feeling of being “blindsided,” another US defense official emphasized that the back channel transfers were legitimate and did not require a sign-off from President Barack Obama or the State Department.

“There was no intent to blindside anyone. The process for this transfer was followed precisely along the lines that it should have,” a US defense official told the paper.

After learning of these transfers, the Obama administration, perturbed that much of the ammunition was used by the IDF in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, revised the review process in a move that is likely to limit or at least delay Israel’s requests for weapons.

Israeli officials are, of course, concerned over the apparent worsening of ties between Israel and the U.S., with Likud Knesset members using the incident to both defend Netanyahu and the America-Israel relationship. However, it has become impossible to deny the fact that Israel and certain political leaders in America have differing perspectives on radical Islamic terrorism:

Numerous US officials say the Gaza violence “has persuaded them that Mr. Netanyahu and his national security team are both reckless and untrustworthy,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

As far as the Israeli view of the Obama Administration, the report cited John Kerry when noting that "...Israeli officials consider the US view of the Middle East 'weak and naive.'" Despite their lack of faith in Obama,

Netanyahu is confident his supporters in Congress will back Israel, and remains unconcerned that the sparring with Obama will have significant adverse effects.

With the American politics of the situation sure to be addressed in the upcoming mid-terms, the actions on the part of the Obama Administration (and Britain, for that matter) also make a strong case for the timeliness of crowdsourcing for Israel's military defense.