Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon clarified last night 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.
Earlier, the White House had harsh words over Yaalon’s remarks about Kerry and his efforts to secure peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. “The remarks of the Israeli defense minister, if accurate, are offensive and inappropriate, especially in light of everything that the United States is doing to support Israel’s security needs,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney, according to a report by the AFP news agency.
On Tuesday, the Yediot Achronot newspaper quoted Yaalon, in closed conversations, as dismissing the U.S. peace plan and calling Kerry “messianic” and “obsessive.” Yaalon reportedly said in these conversations, which took place ahead of Kerry’s latest visit, that “the American security plan that was presented to us is not worth the paper it was written on. It contains neither security nor peace. Only our continued presence in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan River will guarantee that Ben Gurion Airport and (the northern city of) Netanya do not become targets for missiles from every direction. Secretary of State John Kerry – who came here very determined, and operates based upon an unfathomable obsession and a messianic feeling – cannot teach me anything about the Palestinians,” he was quoted as saying.
Read more at Arutz Sheva.