Or is this story even true? Is it actually one of those “good-cop/bad-cop” tales instead?

It’s difficult to say, but I vote ever-so-slightly for “true.” My opinion of John Kerry is very low, but I think more of him than I do of Obama.

The following seems quite characteristic of the president:

An Israeli newspaper is reporting that two officials close to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are quietly accusing President Barack Obama of sabotaging Middle East peace efforts after giving an interview in which he sharply criticized Israeli government policy.

The unnamed officials also claim that Kerry was never given a heads-up that the president had planned an interview with reporter Jeffrey Goldberg of Bloomberg View…

Eli Bardenstein, diplomatic correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Maariv, reported Wednesday that “those close to Secretary of State John Kerry claim in private conversations that President Barack Obama sabotaged Kerry’s efforts to reach agreements over the framework agreement, in the aggressive interview he gave” Goldberg.

“Maariv has learned that the White House hid even from Kerry the very existence of the interview, in a way that is unacceptable in the U.S. capital,” the Israeli reporter added.

Such behavior would certainly be consistent with Obama’s arrogance, his go-it-alone sense of self, and his disregard for the ideas of others except for a few extremely trusted advisors. He has alienated even many of his friends and supporters—certainly quite a few of the Democrats in Congress—on a personal level by having very little to do with them, not asking their advice, and not even letting them know what he’s planning before he does it.

It’s well-known that Obama thinks he’s smarter than anyone around him, and it isn’t even a point of view he tries to hide. It didn’t take years of the presidency to make him feel that way, either; he believed it even when he was running for president the first time:

Obama said…to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaign’s political director. “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Obama told him. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

Obama measures most policy advisors and Cabinet members by how well they comply with his wishes and follow his orders, not for their input, challenge, or disagreement.

Note also this quote, emphasizing the role of Valerie Jarrett (one of the very few people he trusts), and making it clear that Obama is not interested in what Kerry might do on his own, or in achieving any “special cooperation” with the Israeli team:

Though Kerry allegedly wasn’t aware of the interview, Maariv’s unnamed D.C. sources speculated that Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett took an active part in arranging the Bloomberg interview.

One unnamed source told the paper, “It’s possible that Obama wasn’t fully up to date on the special cooperation that Kerry had achieved with Netanyahu and his team with the Israeli team. It’s also possible he ignored it.”

Anything’s possible, I guess—except that Obama had Israel’s or America’s interests at heart.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]