US shocked by Ya'alon's criticism

Defense Minister says US not doing enough to 'lead fight' against ISIS; surprised US officials won't start debate with Israel on subject.

Cynthia Blank,

Moshe Ya'alon
Moshe Ya'alon
Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon issued harsh criticism of the United States government's lackluster response to Islamic State at a speech last week at the Saban Forum in Washington. 

"The US needs to get off the fence and lead the world [in the fight against ISIS]," Ya'alon blasted. "In the current situation, Russia is playing a much more significant role than the US and we do not like the fact that countries like Jordan and Egypt are turning now to the Russians. The US must play a more significant role in the region."

Ya'alon also charged, however, that Russia had failed in its task to finish operations in Syria within three months. 

Israel's Defense Minister has in the past come under hot water for remarks against the Obama administration, including two years ago calling Secretary of State John Kerry "messianic" and "obsessive" in his efforts to forge peace between Israel and the Palestinians. 

However, his more recent criticism, while apparently surprising to American officials, did not inspire the same level of ire. 

According to a Channel 10 report on Saturday, the officials were surprised by the attack, given, in their words, the fact that Israel is interested in upgrading the security aid it receives from the US. 

However, the White House chose not to start a conflict with Israel on the subject, with sources close to US President Barack Obama asserting they "know the two countries have different world views."