A Kuwaiti newspaper is reporting that President Obama, angered at Israeli plans to strike Iran nuclear facilities in 2014, threatened to shoot down Israeli planes before they could reach their targets.
The paper, Al Jarida, cites only anonymous sources and just a handful of other publications have followed the story. But according to israelnationalnews.com, the Arabic newspaper quoted "well-placed" sources as saying Benjamin Netanyahu and two top aides "had decided to carry out air strikes against Iran's nuclear program after consultations with top security commanders."
"The Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel's back," the website said.
The Al Jarida story says that an Israeli minister with "good ties" to the Obama administration revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State John Kerry, who passed the word to Obama. The president then threatened to shoot down any planes in order to stop the Israeli attack.
The Ma'an News, a Palestinian news agency, did pick up the Al Jarida story, translating the piece. Their article says: "Netanyahu had to abort the operation and since then relations between Israel and the United States have been declining, according to the sources quoted in the report."
Several websites were dubious about the Al Jarida. JewishPress.com wrote that "the report seems unbelievable, but the newspaper has an interesting track record."
Al-Jarida is considered to be a relatively liberal publication whose editor Mohammed al-Sager previously won the International Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists 'for courageous reporting on political and human rights issues in the face of government threats of censorship and prosecution.'
He also is a former Kuwaiti parliament member and chairman of the legislature.
And that website concludes by saying the veracity of the story may not be the most important facet. "The report may be fantasy, but the fact that Al Jarida dared to report it says a lot about perceptions of the relationship between Netanyahu and Obama."
The story was starting to pick up pace on Sunday, with Netanyahu already on his way to Washington, D.C., to deliver a much anticipated speech to Congress.
"I'm going on a crucial and historic mission," Netanyahu said before his departure from Ben-Gurtion Airport, accompanied by his wife, according to YnetNews.com.
"I feel I am the representative of all Israel, even those who disagree with me. I feel a deep concern for the fate of Israel. I will do everything to guarantee our future."