Ya'alon to Kerry: Don't Threaten Intifada
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Thursday evening said the Palestinian conflict calls for long term thinking and probably has no imminent solution, rejecting Secretary of State John Kerry's threats of a third intifada.
Ya'alon said that while Israel is interested in peace talks, "were probably not going to solve it [the conflict] based on what we thought." Responding to Kerry's pressuring of Israel, the Defense Minister said "we shall conduct things wisely, without worrying about threats of whether or not there will be a third intifada."
The statements came in Ya'alon's address to the annual meeting of the Accountants' Association, in which he supported Palestinian political independence while noting concerns over their intentions.
Ya'alon notes that while some claim the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is territorial, having begun in 1967 and needing to end in the "1967 borders" (the 1949 Armistice lines), no Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership, including that of Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, has been ready to consider territorial compromise and recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
Ya'alon remarked that Arab claims include all sections of Israel, saying "there's Sheikh Munis - Tel Aviv and Majdal - Ashkelon. We left Gaza and they continue to attack us. They educate the younger generation that Haifa and Acre are Palestinian ports, and more. There's no sign of compromise."
The Iranian nuclear threat also was addressed, with Ya'alon rejecting connections between Iran and the conflict with the Palestinians, saying claims that the region is unstable because of the situation in Israel are unfounded.
Reportedly US President Barack Obama recently linked peace talks with Iran, pressuring Israel to make concessions which will make it "easier for the US to support Israel's position."
The Iranian nuclear program is the largest challenge according to the Defense Minister, as the "Iranian regime has hegemonic aspirations, not only regionally but globally." He mentioned how Iran uses an infrastructure of terror organizations that they invest millions in, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, Palestinian terror, terror in South America and in Asia.