Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon once again had to apologize to the US for far too bluntly telling the truth.
US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Netanyahu and demanded that Ya’alon apologize.
According to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, Kerry came just short of demanding from Netanyahu that Ya’alon resign.
As a result, Ya’alon spoke with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and said his that comments were not intended to express opposition, criticism or offense to the United States. Hagel accepted the apology.
The remarks that upset the US included Ya’alon pointing out that the relationship with the US is a two-way street, and listed some of the amazing Israeli inventions and technologies that the US has gotten in return for their investment.
Ya’alon also pointed out that US foreign policy is projecting an image of weakness around the world, and that is hurting the US.
Ya’alon bluntly said:
“If you sit and wait at home, the terrorism will come again. Even if you hunker down, it will come. This is a war of civilizations. If your image is feebleness, it doesn’t pay in the world. Nobody will replace the United States as global policeman. I hope the United States comes to its senses. If it doesn’t, it will challenge the world order, and the United States is the one that will suffer.”
Ya’alon also said the US is trying to avoid confrontation with Iran, and that Iranians are much better negotiators than the US.
Ya’alon had said that Israel had hoped the US would have taken the lead in stopping Iran’s from acquiring nuclear weapons, but now Israel will need to look out for itself.
Nothing incorrect in any of the above statements.
Ya’alon’s previous remarks that got him in trouble were about Kerry’s messianic obsession with Israel and the peace process.
Following the harsh reaction from the US, Netanyahu made an unexpected comment on the Knesset floor, where he thanked the US for their security and intelligence cooperation in connection to the capture of the Iranian weapons smuggling ship, the Klos C.
And while the US has been claiming it had some role in the capture, after it learned about it, this was the first Israeli statement connecting the US at all to the capture of the vessel, and one must wonder at the timing of the statement, and if it was made more out of political necessity than factual veracity.