Why does Bibi want to appear pushed into the ceasefire?


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement makes it clear with a charged verb — "acceded" — that President Obama nudged him into the ceasefire with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Wednesday, 21 November 2012), spoke with US President Barack Obama and acceded to his recommendation to give the Egyptian ceasefire proposal a chance and thereby give an opportunity to stabilize and calm the situation before there is a need to use greater force. The Prime Minister expressed his deep appreciation to the President for his support of Israel during the operation and for his contribution to the Iron Dome system. The Prime Minister reiterated that Israel would take all necessary steps to defend its citizens.

So the Bibi-Obama tensions are back on? Not so much — Obama, more than 30 minutes before Netanyahu’s statement said pretty much the same thing:

The President commended the Prime Minister for agreeing to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal – which the President recommended the Prime Minster do – while reiterating that Israel maintains the right to defend itself.

So this was clearly coordinated when the leaders spoke. The question is — why? Did Netanyahu feel the need for political cover going into the ceasefire? Did he need to show factions in his government he was forced into it?

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