Obama Administration Dissatisfied with Israeli Defense Minister’s Apology
By Russ Jones
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has apologized to the Obama administration for his recent comments claiming that the U.S. is “showing weakness” in the world in regards to its foreign relation policies with Russia and Ukraine as well as its deal-making with Iran. “Therefore, on this matter, we have to behave as though we have nobody to look out for us but ourselves.”
Ya’alon criticized the U.S. for not leading efforts to halt Iran’s initiative to develop nuclear weapons.
“But at some stage the United States entered into negotiations with them, and unhappily, when it comes to negotiating at a Persian bazaar, the Iranians were better,” said Ya’alon, who spoke at Tel Aviv University, as reported by Haaretz.
Even following a phone call from Ya’alon to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last Wednesday to clarify his comments the Obama administration doesn’t appear to be satisfied.
In a statement released by Yaalon’s office describing the conversation in which the defense minister said his comments “were not intended to express opposition, criticism or offense to the United States,” adding that he “greatly admired” the relationship and that maintaining strong ties with the United States is Israel’s utmost priority, according to the Jerusalem Post.
According to JTA Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said Friday, “We are disappointed with the lack of an apology from Defense Minister Yaalon’s comments. His comments, as we’ve stated a couple times, don’t reflect the true nature of our relationship with Israel.”
Middle East analyst and award-winning journalist, Dr. Mike Evans, who is also the founder of The Jerusalem Prayer Team, agrees with Ya’alon’s perspective.
“The Obama Administration has exhibited weakness to the world—regarding Iran, Syria, and repeated attacks on US interests like what happened in Benghazi,” Evans said. “This weakness puts everyone at risk and Israel realizes it must be prepared to go it alone.”
The Israel Policy Forum, a group committed to advancing a diplomatic resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, condemned Ya’alon’s comments.
“Ya’alon is compromising U.S.-Israeli relations at a time when the United States is convening a process in which his government is a key participant,” Peter Joseph, chair of the Israel Policy Forum, said in a statement. “Instead, 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.”