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U.S. Still Waiting for Apology from Ya'alon

United States dissatisfied with Defense Minister's clarification that he had not meant to insult the U.S.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 3/21/2014, 9:44 PM

Moshe Yaalon
Moshe Yaalon
Reuters

The United States is dissatisfied with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s clarification that he had not meant to insult the U.S.

"We still have remaining concerns about Ya'alon's pattern of behavior," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Friday.

The United States harshly criticized Ya’alon this week, over his remarks that the United States “shows weakness” in various arenas around the world, including Ukraine, and has a “soft” approach over Iran’s nuclear program.

In fact, Secretary of State John Kerry personally protested to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over Ya'alon's strong criticism which the U.S. saw as trying to hurt U.S.-Israel relations.

Later, Ya’alon phoned Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and clarified that his remarks were not meant to insult the United States.

Apparently, however, Ya’alon’s clarification to Hagel was not sufficient for Washington, as Psaki said that the U.S. was waiting for Ya’alon to issue an apology.

"I think we clearly expressed our displeasure by his offensive comments and an apology would be a natural next step," she declared.

In January, the State Department denounced as "offensive" comments made by the defense minister accusing Kerry of being "obsessive" and "messianic" with his push for Middle East peace.

Ya'alon was later forced to apologize to the top U.S. diplomat, who has been trying to hammer out a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)