Brain Bush’s Blog

Behind the Defense Minister's Remarks

  • By : Brian Bush
  • January 17, 2014
  • 8:03 pm

Hello Everyone,

Fallout continues over the disparaging remarks made earlier in the week by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

There is an obvious unease in the Israel-US relationship following the publication here in Israel of Mr. Yaalon's personal attack on US Secretary of State John Kerry as being “obsessive and messianic” about the Peace Process between the Israeli's and the Palestinians.

Yaalon's confidants accusing the journalists saying that the publication of his statements made in private violated press rules.

Nevertheless there was outrage in the White House, it saying that the “Remarks are offensive and unfair” and American officials swiftly demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu publicly declare that he opposes the remarks.

While distancing himself, Mr. Netanyahu didn't really apologize in the way people may have been expecting, saying that the disagreements are over substance not personalities.

That may be because one senior Likud official, the political party Mr. Netanyahu is a part of, said that Minister Yaalon said what Netanyahu thinks.

Here in Israel, the public broadly likes Moshe Yaalon because he is a straight talker. He has been vocal about his disbelief in the negotiations with the Palestinians. Now perhaps he has a new role as the eliminator of the diplomatic process (as one paper here put it).

Yaalon is a potential leader of right-wing opposition within the Likud political party.

If Prime Minister Netanyahu decides to take a historic step and announce that he accepts the principle of dividing the land of Israel, the Defense Minister has prepared himself this week very well to become a leader over Netanyahu of the Right.

He voiced concern that much of the Israeli public feels – specifically that the US deal is bad for Israel's security.

The recent polls have demonstrated that the majority of Israeli's do not believe in the negotiations going on.

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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