Harsh comments by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was “obsessively” trying to push a “messianic” peace plan that would never come to pass were prompted by a massive campaign by the U.S. to use top military officials to convince Israel that it could afford to give up the Jordan Valley.
A report in Maariv Thursday said the the State Department had drafted many military officials who have worked with IDF officers, at various levels, in an orchestrated campaign to pressure the Israelis that there is no danger in surrendering the region in order to sign a deal with the Palestinian Authority.
The report said that the effort was being orchestrated by former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk. The plan is to build a lobby among Israeli security officials to support a major American push for Israel to agree to surrender the Jordan Valley. Between external pressure from the U.S. and internal pressure from the Israeli lobby and the media, Kerry hopes to be able to push Israel into making the decision, without which the Palestinian Authority will not agree to the peace framework he is pushing.
Yaalon, annoyed and upset by what sources called the “gross American intervention” in Israeli security matters, lashed out at Kerry in a private setting, saying 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,” Yaalon was quoted as saying.