Report: White House Expects Netanyahu to Condemn Yaalon Comments
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.
On Monday, Ya'alon called Kerry "obsessive" and "messianic."
"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 is quoted as saying.
"I live and breathe the conflict with the Palestinians, I know what they think, what they want and what they really mean,” he continued. “The American security plan that was presented to us is not worth the paper it was written on.”
Later, Yaalon clarified his remarks, as revealed in a Channel 10 report.
"Some things cannot be solved in one [day]," Ya'alon stated, addressing US efforts. "Note that we still we have not solved all the problems of medicine and mathematics; it is not like we don't have special challenges also facing us."
Yaalon called on Israel "not to panic and give in to these [statements] and other intimidation, because this (standing up for oneself) is the only way to protect the security of Israel."