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 resolution 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 less harsh towards Israel than many other nations wanted it to be.
The statement expresses that the "Security Council deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting form the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza,” but more generally condemns "those acts which resulted in the loss” of lives – leaving matters of blame vague.
The US also pushed for language conveying that it’s acceptable for the Israelis to conduct their own investigation into the matter as long as the investigation is “prompt, impartial, credible and transparent.” Other countries were pushing for an independent investigation, perhaps by the UN itself.