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May 4, 2016 / 26 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ya’alon’

State Department Continues Grudge Match Against Ya’alon

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

The U.S. State Department spokesperson tried her darnedest to downplay U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s refusal to meet with Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon when the latter was in Washington, D.C. last week.

On Tuesday, Oct. 21, Ya’alon arrived in Washington where he met with his American counterpart, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and American intelligence officials.

However, according to YNet, the Obama administration refused Ya’alon’s request to meet with other top U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden, and National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

The snub was chalked up to lingering enmity resulting from private remarks made by Ya’alon – but which were publicly reported – in which Ya’alon allegedly spoke derisively about Kerry’s efforts to broker a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

Ya’alon allegedly said Kerry came to Israel “determined and acting out of misplaced obsession and messianic fervor,” and described the American security plan for Israel as “not worth the paper it is written on. It contains no peace and no security.”

The Americans went ballistic, saying that if the comments attributed to Ya’alon are accurate, they are “offensive and inappropriate” and described them as “shocking.”

Ya’alon later issued an apology in a written statement: “The defense minister had no intention to cause any offense to the secretary, and he apologizes if the secretary was offended by words attributed to the minister.”

American officials apparently are not used to being insulted publicly, and when it happens, not having a groveling response. And so, apparently, the fallout continues.

In the State Department’s Daily Press Briefing on Friday, Oct. 24, the spokesperson was asked about reports that Ya’alon’s request to meet with Kerry had been denied.

The senior reporter in the briefing, Matt Lee, of the Associated Press, asked the spokesperson about the alleged rebuff. Lee asked whether the denial of Ya’alon’s request was due to Kerry still being “peeved” by Ya’alon’s alleged remarks. Psaki sure seemed to be.

QUESTION: Okay. And then there are reports in Israel and elsewhere that Israeli Defense Minister Ya’alon was denied meetings or the Administration rejected requests from the Israelis for him to meet with, among other people, Secretary Kerry but also Susan Rice at the White House and Vice President Biden. And I’m just wondering, realizing you don’t speak for the White House, can you say if a meeting was sought with Secretary Kerry, who I believe was out of the country until – I know was out of the country until Wednesday night. Was there a meeting sought and denied?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything in terms of internal discussions about meetings to parlay to you, but he did meet with Defense Secretary Hagel, which – who is his counterpart, which is a natural standard procedure.

QUESTION: Is it fair to say that the Administration and particularly this building and then particularly Secretary Kerry are still a bit peeved with Defense Minister Ya’alon’s criticisms?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, Matt, as you know, Secretary Kerry has spoken to this himself shortly after the comments made by Defense Minister Ya’alon and made clear that he’d been the target of much worse than words. And I think obviously, he works closely with a range of Israeli officials and he didn’t meet with him this time. He’s met with him in the past and he met with Secretary Hagel, who is his counterpart.

However, Israel’s defense minister did meet with the influential Washington Post journalist Lally Weymouth, who began the wide-ranging interview asking about Ya’alon’s comments about Kerry, to which the minister of defense responded laconically, “We overcame that.”

Weymouth then asked about Kerry’s recent statement that the failure to resolve the “Israeli-Palestinian issue” is leading to street anger and recruitment for ISIS. Ya’alon did not mention Kerry by name, but said that the conflict “is dominated by too many misconceptions.” He pointed instead to the Sunni-Shia conflict as being the far more accurate linkage. In discussing the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict, Ya’alon made clear that territorial concessions are exactly the wrong tack for Israel to take, suggesting that another Hamastan would rise in Judea and Samaria.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Israeli Media: 2 US Jewish Groups Attack Yaalon’s Comments; True?

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Two American Jewish groups closely associated with the Democratic party’s positions allegedly issued scathing statements about Israel’s Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon’s comments critical of U.S. foreign policy, delivered at Tel Aviv University last week.

But did those groups issue those statements? Or did the Israeli media simply claim they did, and everyone left it at that?

The two groups that were reported by both Haaretz and YNet as condemning Ya’alon, are the National Jewish Democratic Council and the Israel Policy Forum. That those two groups would attack an Israeli leader for having criticized this U.S. administration is hardly surprising.

The NJDC, after all, is the Jewish wing of the Democratic party, just as the Republican Jewish Coalition is for the Republican party. And the Israel Policy Forum is widely regarded as the “old man’s J Street,” or as one of the precursors to the current young-ish bucks who seek to dislodge mainstream American Jews from what people of that bent consider the grips of the American Israel Public Affairs Council.

So when articles in Thursday’s Haaretz and YNet contained extensive quotes from the two U.S. administration-leaning Jewish groups slamming Ya’alon for comments he made at a Tel Aviv University address last week, few were surprised.

At that address, Ya’alon said the U.S. has shown “weakness” in various arenas around the world, and that its Middle East allies are disappointed. He also reiterated a prior statement, that Israel would have to go it alone against Iran and cannot depend on the U.S. to lead on that front.

ISRAEL POLICY FORUM PRESS RELEASE QUOTED IS A MONTH OLD

The articles in the two Israeli media allegedly quoting the American Jewish groups are very similar. Both include the same quotes from the Israel Policy Forum. The quotes include:

• “The Israeli Policy Forum, a pro-peace group, said in a statement that it “condemns recent statements by Ya’alon that insulted the Obama administration and harshly criticized American foreign policy in the Middle East and around the world.”

•”Ya’alon is compromising US-Israeli relations. His obstructionist outbursts simply support a view that Israel is not negotiating in good faith and better serves its critics and those opposed to a lasting peace.”

Both also included this statement, including the double negative:

•”We believe that Ya’alon’s criticisms of President Obama’s diplomatic efforts with Iran were unwarranted and not unconstructive [sic]. His statements demonstrate a pattern of behavior which is not appropriate for the proper conduct of Israel’s diplomacy.”

To those statements, YNet added that the IPF  “condemns recent statements by Ya’alon that insulted the Obama administration and harshly criticized American foreign policy in the Middle East and around the world,” and “IPF welcomes Minister Ya’alon’s late apology and sincerely hopes he will return to the important process of negotiating an agreement with the Palestinians that will insure Israel’s future as a secure and Jewish democratic state.”

The problem is, all of this language is from a press release issued by the IPF on Feb. 21, and was not in response to Ya’alon’s latest comments. Oddly, the two articles quoting the earlier press releases appear on the IPF website in the “IPF in the News” section. The IPF’s latest press release, according to its website, is from March 12, and is about another matter entirely. So the IPF site contains the misquotes of its own press releases in the section bragging about how it is quoted in the media.

All of this is not to say that the IPF has changed directions and applauds Ya’alon’s frank assessments of America’s foreign policy. But doubling the number of Jewish American groups which criticized Ya’alon’s (from one to two) remarks is worth noting. Except there is also a problem with the quotes from the other American Jewish group.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

For Yaalon, Kerry, Love Means Totally Saying You’re Sorry

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

In the 1970 film Love Story, Ali MacGraw tells boyfriend Ryan O’Neal: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” That might just mean there’s no love, lost or otherwise, between Israeli Defense Minister Moshe (Bogey—as in Humphrey Bogart, not Boogie, as in boogie-woogie) Yaalon and U.S. secretary of State John (the Boston Brahmin) Kerry. Because Bogie apologized to Kerry, in both Hebrew and English, for his disparaging comments.

Incidentally, I don’t recall President Barack (Barry) Obama ever apologizing to Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu for whining about him on an open mike, in conversation with French President Nicolas (Sarko) Sarkozy, back in 2011. Sarko said, “Netanyahu, I can’t stand him, he’s a liar,” and Barry said, “You’re sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day…”

According to Yedioth, Yaalon said Kerry “operates from an incomprehensible obsession and sense of messianism” and “can’t teach me anything about the conflict with the Palestinians.”

And then he said: “The only thing that might save us is if John Kerry wins the Nobel Prize and leaves us be. We’ve given enough and have received nothing… enough is enough.”

In comparison, Bogey’s saying the Brahmin is obsessive and has a messianic complex, then suggesting someone should give the guy his Nobel Peace Prize already so he’ll leave us alone – well, yes, it’s about as bad. Not the worst thing anyone has ever said about Kerry (Where are the Swiftboaters when you need them?), but of all the things being said every day about the United States, the world’s last remaining superpower decided to pounce on Yaalon.

Because it was a golden opportunity, seeing as the talks are in the toilet, the Palestinians are breaking the Oslo principles once again, going to the UN for recognition, the entire Kerry effort is exposed as so much smoke and mirrors—let’s hit Bogie hard.

According to Yaalon, the negotiations over the past seven and something months have been not so much talks between Israel and the Palestinian as a harsh and bitter fight between himself and the American team. “I am the nut they can’t crack.”

They may be annoyed with Netanyahu, but the Americans hate Yaalon with a passion, because he’s a professional military expert, because he is trusted by most Israelis—Bibi is afraid of him politically, so trust there is not possible, especially when Sara is in the room.

Yaalon sees every little fault in the American proposed security plan and has said publicly that it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on (someone needs to upgrade that putdown to include PowerPoint presentations).

So State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki expressed outrage on Tuesday: “The remarks of the defense minister, if accurate, are offensive and inappropriate, especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel’s security needs.”

Oh, the remarks are accurate, sister, your boss is 100 percent certifiably obsessive, and nasty, too. And that stuff about securing Israel – do us a favor, go secure someone else.

But, of course, Yaalon can’t quite say that, although I would have loved to see him giving our parental figure a little lip. What are they going to do? Announce they’ll cut off military support because of what Bogie called Kerry?

I’d still pay good money to watch it.

“Secretary Kerry and his team including General Allen have been working day and night to try to promote a secure peace for Israel because of the secretary’s deep concern for Israel’s future,” the pesky Psaki said, sounding like the proverbial disappointed mother.

After all the sacrifices your father and I are making for you, how dare you say hurtful things like that?

Yori Yanover

IDF Closes Civilian Air Space in North

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

The IDF was scheduled to shut down civilian air space in the north as the United States prepares to attack Syria. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and the commanders of the Home Front and Air Force discussed the impending attack on Syria in an emergency meeting Thursday afternoon.

Additional defense measures were taken to protect the port city of Haifa.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Defense Minister Ya’alon: Assad Has Lost Control

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Against the background of the gas attack in Syria and the reports about hundreds of victims, perhaps more than a thousand, Israeli Defense Minister and former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon said on Wednesday that “the Syrian regime has lost control over the country, is present only in about 40 percent of its territory and is finding it difficult to subdue to opposition forces.”

Speaking at a ceremony welcoming the new Jewish year at the defense ministry compound in downtown Tel Aviv, Ya’alon said that “for some time now this has not been an internal Syrian conflict. We decided not to intervene in this conflict, but we drew red lines to make sure our interests are not harmed.

The defense minister expressed skepticism about the ending of the war in Syria. “We don’t envision the end of this situation, since even the toppling of Assad won’t bring about a conclusion. There are many open, bloody accounts yet to be settled by the various elements.”

“It’s a conflict that has turned global, with one axis receiving support from Russia and the other bein helped by the U.S. and Europe. Lebanon is connected to the massive Iranian support and therefore the war has been dripping into its territory as well. Inside Lebanon there are focal points of confrontation as well. But, generally speaking, the borders are peaceful and we are watching to make sure the cannons are not trained on us,” Ya’alon said.

According to rebel sources in Syria, the number of dead as a result of the chemical gas attack on a suburb of Damascus has topped 1,300, including women and children. The rebels are claiming this was a massacre of innocent civilians, who were hurt by poison gas in the area of the Guta camp, a rebel held spot outside Damascus.

A Syrian government spokesperson has said in response that those claims are unfounded, and are intended to sabotage the work of the UN inspectors who have just arrived in Syria to investigate earlier reports of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army.

Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, head of the 20-member inspection team, told news agency TT that he finds the reports of such a high number of casualties suspicious.

“It sounds like something that should be looked into,” he told TT over the phone from Damascus. “It will depend on whether any UN member state goes to the secretary general and says we should look at this event. We are in place.”

Minister Ya’alon referred to situation in Egypt as well, saying there has been relative quiet on the Israeli border with Egypt, but noted that extremist elements like the World Jihad will attempt to destabilize the border.

He warned against the recent developments in the Sinai, such as the execution by Islamist terrorists of 25 Egyptian policemen, spilling over into Israel.

“Over the past week, the Sinai border has been the hottest, and it obliges us to realign for it.”

Yori Yanover

Netanyahu Recovering from Hernia Operation

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is recovering from a hernia surgery he underwent late Saturday night.

Netanyahu was admitted to a Jerusalem hospital after complaining of abdominal pain.

The surgery took about an hour. Netanyahu is expected to be released on Sunday.

A Cabinet meeting planned for Sunday will be postponed.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is serving as caretaker prime minister.

Jewish Press News Briefs

IAF Retaliates Against Gaza Terror Targets

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Following 3 rocket launches from Gaza on Tuesday evening, the Israel Air Force struck back at targets within Gaza.

This was the first time that Israel has responded with an air assault to the Gaza rocket launches since the Pillars of Defense cease fire. No one was reported injured in the IAF strike.

The Gazan rockets hit in the Eshkol region.

There was also a mortar launched earlier in the day that fell short and landed within the Gaza Strip.

The IDF Spokesperson said,

“The IDF will not accept any attempt to attack Israeli citizens or IDF soldiers, and the IDF has no intention of allowing the return to the situation as it was before Operation Pillars of Defense.
The IDF views the attacks on Israel as very serious, and holds Hamas responsible.”

Earlier in the day police also found the remains of the Palestinian rocket that targeted Israel during President Obama’s visit on March 21.

The Gaza rocket had hit a kindergarten in Sderot. The school was closed and empty at the time for the extended Passover vacation.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iaf-strikes-gaza-terror-targets/2013/04/03/

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