Earlier today Israel Defense Minister Ya’alon, the man who sits beside Netanyahu during negotiations, had some very strong words for SoS John Kerry, suggesting that the only thing that will save Israel is for Kerry to win his Nobel Peace Price and go back to America:
YNET NEWS – While the United States is pushing hard for a final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has expressed his great skepticism of these efforts, both in private conversations in Israel and in the US. In particular, Ya’alon has harsh words to say about Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) is alive and well thanks to us,” Ya’alon said. “The moment we leave Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) he is finished. In reality, there have been no negotiations between us and the Palestinians for all these months – but rather between us and the Americans. The only thing that can ‘save us’ is for John Kerry to win a Nobel Prize and leave us in peace.”
“The American security plan presented to us is not worth the paper it’s written on,” Ya’alon said. “It contains no peace and no security. Only our continued presence in Judea and Samaria and the River Jordan will endure that Ben-Gurion Airport and Netanya don’t become targets for rockets from every direction. American Secretary of State John Kerry, who turned up here determined and acting out of misplaced obsession and messianic fervor, cannot teach me anything about the conflict with the Palestinians.”
“There are no actual negotiations with the Palestinians. The Americans are holding negotiations with us and in parallel with the Palestinians. So far, we are the only side to have given anything – the release of murderers – and the Palestinians have given nothing.”
Wow. I’ve been waiting for something like this. I think those in key positions in Israel have been biting their tongues for the last five years, so it’s not surprising that too many up-close and personal discussions with the Obama administration would finally cause one of them to just explode.
Well, as you might expect, the Obama administration didn’t take kind to Ya’alon’s words, rebuking them publicly:
YNET NEWS – The United States on Tuesday rebuked Israel for comments attributed to Israel’s defense minister suggesting that US Secretary of State John Kerry’s quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace is messianic and obsessive.
“The remarks of the Defense Minister (Moshe Ya’alon), if accurate, are offensive and inappropriate especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel’s security needs,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a brief statement that constituted a rare rebuke to close ally Israel.
“To question Secretary Kerry’s motives and distort his proposals is not something we would expect from the defense minister of a close ally,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
Netanyahu and Peres were trying to smooth things over:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that “The United States is our greatest ally,” noting: “We are working in cooperation with the US president, the vice president… and the secretary of state. We are making efforts to promote peace, security, and stability in the region. We maintain our interest, while cultivating this important tie between the two nations. We strive to reach a true peace accord. We do not want a bi-national state but we also don’t want an Iran-backed state that will try to annihilate the State of Israel.
President Shimon Peres also expressed his support of Kerry, saying: “Our ties with the United States are of great strategic value to the State of Israel. We thank the president of the United States, Barack Obama, for his responsiveness to our security and intelligence needs. There is no doubt that he wants to see a Mideast that lives in peace. Secretary Kerry’s unusual determination to achieve peace reflects and serves Israel’s deep desire for peace and give a chance for a mutual understanding.