Maybe the conversation went something like this:
Obama: Listen, I can handle them.
Netanyahu: No, you can’t.
Obama: Look, I have your best interests at heart.
Netanyahu: No, you don’t.
“Obama calls Netanyahu after criticism of Iran nuclear plan,” by Mark Felsenthal and Matt Spetalnick for Reuters, November 8:
NEW ORLEANS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday after the Israeli leader delivered a stinging rebuke to Washington over a deal taking shape in talks between Iran and world powers seeking to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.
The telephone call marked an apparent bid by Obama to tamp down growing unease over the emerging Iran deal among the United States’ Middle East allies, including Saudi Arabia, as well as mounting opposition to the plan on Capitol Hill.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who flew to Geneva to join the high-stakes talks after what was described as a tense meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem, was seeking to close what he called “important gaps” with Iran over the terms of an agreement.
“The president provided the prime minister with an update on negotiations in Geneva and underscored his strong commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, which is the aim of the ongoing negotiations,” the White House said, adding that they agreed to continue “to stay in touch on this issue.”
An Obama administration official said the call between the two leaders – who have a history of strained relations over Iran policy – was “very long” but declined to characterize the tone or provide further details.
Netanyahu warned Kerry and his European counterparts that Iran would be getting “the deal of the century” if they carried out proposals to grant Tehran limited, temporary sanctions relief in exchange for a partial suspension of its nuclear program and a pledge not to expand it.
“Israel utterly rejects it and what I am saying is shared by many in the region, whether or not they express that publicly,” Netanyahu told reporters in Jerusalem….
J Street, a more liberal lobbying group, took a different tack, urging supporters on its website to “tell your senators: don’t undermine Iran negotiations with new sanctions.”…
J Street is anti-Israel. Isi Liebler, former chairman of the Governing Board of the World Jewish Congress, has challenged J Street’s “duplicity in trying to masquerade as a Jewish mainstream “˜pro-Israel” organisation while consistently campaigning against the Jewish state.” Philip Klein, The American Spectator“s Washington correspondent, has notedthat “while the group bills itself as the “˜pro Israel” and “˜pro peace” alternative to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, in reality it is a liberal organization actively campaigning against Israel’s right to defend itself.”
According to Liebler, as of October 2009 “Arab and pro-Iranian elements were providing approximately 10% of J Street funding, a somewhat bizarre situation for a genuinely “˜pro-Israel” organisation.” Federal Election Commission records showed that tens of thousands of dollars flowed in to J Street from Arabs and Muslims, including some donations from groups involved in agitating for the “Palestinian” jihad.