Israel Defense Minister Says Kerry Messianic, Obsessive: Paper
Jerusalem – Israel’s defense minister called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace “messianic”, a newspaper said on Tuesday, reporting what it described as remarks made behind closed doors. Moshe Yaalon’s spokesman declined comment on the account in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s biggest-selling newspaper.
“Secretary of State John Kerry – who has come to us determined and is acting out of an incomprehensible obsession and a messianic feeling – cannot teach me a single thing about the conflict with the Palestinians,” Yaalon was quoted as saying. “The only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel Prize and leaves us alone.”
The report appeared hours after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden left Israel, where he had attended the funeral of former leader Ariel Sharon and held talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Speaking to students in southern Israel on Tuesday, in comments broadcast on Army radio, Yaalon did not refer to the newspaper report directly, but he appeared to try and exercise damage control in ties with Washington.
“Even if there are differences and friction within various discussions, and there are, they must not affect the interests or common goals of Israel and the United States,” Yaalon said. Yedioth said Yaalon had voiced his criticism of Kerry in private conversations before one of the Secretary’s recent mediation visits to the region, but it gave no specific date. (Reuters)