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Kerry: Ya'alon's remarks undermine US-Israel relations

April 12, 2014 at 11:53 am

American Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday expressing the US’ concerns over the “confusing” and “unconstructive” remarks made by Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

In a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kerry demanded Ya’alon make an overt apology for his remarks, which were described as “hurting” US-Israeli relations, Israeli TV’s Channel 10 reported.

Early this week, Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed that Ya’alon said he had been expressing his concern of American weakness in the world and particularly in the Middle East.

The newspaper said Ya’alon pointed to American policy on Iran and Syria, saying “the United States’ confused policy weakens it in its activities in the region”.

Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported American official told Israeli media that Ya’alon was “determined to undermine US-Israel relations”, after he questioned US commitment to Israel’s security.

US State Department Spokeswomen Jen Psaki said that Kerry spoke to Netanyahu over Ya’alon’s comment yesterday. “Clearly his comments were not constructive,” Psaki said. “Secretary Kerry spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu this morning and he protested to him his concerns about these comments.”

In last January, Ya’alon said that Kerry was “acting out of misplaced obsession and messianic fervour” during the latest round of Palestinian-Israeli talks. He added Kerry was aiming to win a Nobel Prize.

Reflecting Netanyahu’s position, Psaki said: “Netanyahu himself has said that the breadth of our security cooperation is unprecedented.”

She continued: “So it is certainly confusing to us why Defence Minister Ya’alon would continue his pattern of making comments that do not accurately represent the scope of our close partnership.”

A US official was quoted saying that the Obama administration was “shocked by Moshe Ya’alon’s comments, which seriously call into question his commitment to Israel’s relationship with the United States.”