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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

White House orders Netanyahu to condemn Yaalon comments on Kerry

In an earlier post, I reported on a Yedioth Aharonoth story that had Defense Minister Moshe "Boogie" Yaalon calling US Secretary of State John FN Kerry 'messianic and obsessive' (or perhaps in 'obsessive messianic'). Now, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been ordered by the White House to condemn or distance himself (the Hebrew word that Israel Radio used in its 11:00 pm broadcast was להסתייג which means to distance oneself) Yaalon's comments. 
Washington reacted angrily Tuesday to the disparaging comments of US Secretary of State John Kerry and his diplomatic efforts attributed to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, saying the US expects more from "a close ally."
The US, one senior US official said, expected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to issue a statement distancing himself from the remarks. 


A US State Department official responded by saying that [Yaalon's]remarks, if accurate, "are offensive and inappropriate, especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel's security needs."
"Kerry and his team, including General Allen, have been working day and night to try to promote a secure peace for Israel because of the Secretary's deep concern for Israel's future," the official said.  "To question his motives and distort his proposals is not something we would expect from the Defense Minister of a close ally.'
Ya'alon, who came under a barrage of criticism from various corners for his comments, including a jab from Netanyahu from the Knesset podium, issued a statement pledging to smooth over divisions with the US.
Relations between the US and Israel are "intimate and of great significance for us. The US is our greatest friend and most important ally, and when there are divisions we work them over behind closed doors, including with Secretary of State Kerry, with whom I hold many talks about the future of Israel," the statement said.
The statement did not deny that Ya'alon made the remarks.
Arutz Sheva adds:
The bickering continues between the White House and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, as a Channel 2 report surfaces Tuesday states that Washington expects Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to publicly condemn Yaalon's criticism
A "senior source" from Washington allegedly told the news outlet that Netanyahu is expected to reject Yaalon's comments, which ripped apart the security plan US Secretary of State John Kerry has laid out for the Jordan Valley. Both the plan and the US itself are widely held, by analysts and the public alike, to be distant from the reality of Israel's security needs and the heart of the ongoing threat Israel faces from the Palestinian Arabs. 
The effect that such a rejection - or lack thereof - could have on US-Israel relations remains unconfirmed at present, as does the report itself. 
Meanwhile, the US has expressed dismay at the spirit behind the comments. 
"The remarks of the defense minister, if accurate, are offensive and inappropriate especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel's security needs," spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki claimed to reporters Tuesday. "To question his motives and distort his proposals is not something we would expect from the defense minister of a close ally," she said.
Yaalon issued a statement late Tuesday night saying that he did not intend to offend Kerry.
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon clarified on Tuesday evening that he had no intention of offending U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Israel and the United states share a common goal to advance the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians led by Secretary Kerry,” said a statement by Yaalon’s office.
“We appreciate Secretary Kerry's many efforts towards that end. The defense minister had no intention to cause any offense to the secretary, and he apologizes if the secretary was offended by words attributed to the minister,” added the statement.
What a bunch of prima donnas in Washington....

In other news, over the weekend, 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen called for 'millions of martyrs' to march on Jerusalem.

Priorities man, priorities....

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