John Kerry Blasted as 'Messianic' by Israeli Defense Minister

Moshe Yaalon Calls Diplomat 'Obsessive' — Slams Talks

getty images

By Reuters

Published January 14, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel’s defence minister called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace messianic, a newspaper said on Tuesday, reporting what it described as remarks made behind closed doors.

Moshe Yaalon’s spokesman declined comment on the account in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s biggest-selling newspaper.

“Secretary of State John Kerry - who has come to us determined and is acting out of an incomprehensible obsession and a messianic feeling - cannot teach me a single thing about the conflict with the Palestinians,” Yaalon was quoted as saying.

The report appeared hours after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden left Israel, where he attended the funeral of former leader Ariel Sharon and held talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Yedioth said Yaalon voiced his comments in private conversations before one of Kerry’s recent mediation visits to the region, but gave no specific date.

Kerry has been on a diplomatic blitz in recent weeks to persuade Israel and the Palestinians, who resumed statehood talks in July after a three-year deadlock, to agree on an outline proposal addressing the core issues of their conflict.

“The only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel prize and leaves us alone,” Yaalon was quoted as saying.

Yaalon has often cast doubt on the chances of reaching a deal with the Palestinians. He is a member of Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party and a former army chief who was replaced in that post before Israel’s 2005 unilateral pullout from the Gaza Strip, a move he opposed.

Israel’s chief negotiator with the Palestinians, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, rallied to Kerry’s defence on her Facebook page, hailing what she described as his commitment to Israel’s future.

“One can object to the talks in a matter-of-fact and responsible manner without lashing out and wrecking relations with our best of friends,” she said.

SECURITY

One of the sticking points in the negotiations, which have shown few signs of progress, has been Israel’s demand to maintain a military presence under any future peace deal in the Jordan Valley, between Jordan and the occupied West Bank.

Kerry has presented the sides with ideas for security arrangements in the Jordan Valley, but neither side has publicly endorsed them.

According to the newspaper report, Yaalon said: “The American security plan is not worth the paper it is written on.”

Yaalon has often cast doubt on the peace intentions of Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas, who seeks a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Yedioth quoted Yaalon as questioning whether Abbas, whose Palestinian Authority lost control of the Gaza Strip to rival Hamas Islamists in a brief civil war in 2007, would be able to remain in power in the West Bank after any Israeli pullout.

“Abu Mazen (Abbas) lives by our sword,” he said, according to the newspaper, alluding to Israeli military force preventing Hamas from challenging him in the West Bank. “The minute we leave Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) he is finished.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.