Gold: Behind the Scenes at Peres Funeral

Dore Gold, former Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

In one of the first disclosures about what went on behind the scenes in the Obama-Netanyahu era, Dore Gold, the recently departed Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, has described a scene at the funeral of former Prime Minister Shimon Peres for the Israeli Makor Rishon newspaper.

Gold recounted that last September, when the U.S. delegation to the funeral left on Air Force One with former President Barack Obama and his entourage on board, 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’s, he should begin to move, to go forward,” – meaning that Peres-like peacemaking would earn him the kind of international acclaim accorded to Peres.

Unmoved, the prime minister instructed Horowitz: “Tell him that I give up the honor because I have no intention of participating in the funeral of my country.”

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the funeral for former Israeli President Shimon Peres in Yerushalayim on September 30, 2016. (Emil Salman/Pool)

Gold indicated that there had been other incidents of a similar nature, and accused the Obama Administration of having “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 critical of the Obama Administration’s Mideast policy and its treatment of Netanyahu in particular, Gold stressed 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.”