Messianic Israeli Minister obsessed with Palestinian Land accuses Kerry of Messianic Obsession

(By AFP)

A senior US official on Tuesday urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to publicly disavow a complaint by Israel’s defense minister that John Kerry has a messianic “obsession” with Middle East peace.
US slams Israeli defense minister attack on Kerry (via AFP)

A senior US official on Tuesday urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to publicly disavow a complaint by Israel’s defense minister that John Kerry has a messianic “obsession” with Middle East peace. The official made the highly unusual demand…


Juan Cole adds this material:

Famous obsessive messianic Yaalon quotes:

“The Palestinian threat harbours cancer-like attributes that have to be severed. There are all kinds of solutions to cancer. Some say it’s necessary to amputate organs but at the moment I am applying chemotherapy” (August 2002).

“We have to confront the Iranian revolution immediately. There is no way to stabilize the Middle East today without defeating the Iranian regime. The Iranian nuclear program must be stopped . . . We have to consider killing Ahmadinejad. All options must be considered” (January 2008).

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24 Responses

  1. It’s hard to know what to think about this. I had a strong initial reaction to the story, which is too primal to reveal here, but as far as “thinking” goes there are three lines of it:

    1. Israel is acting like it always does; obsessive, messianic, paranoid, wants what it wants. Most of Israel is not paying attention to the European sanctions threat if the peace negotiations go down, or to the threat of a 3rd intifada — I think there are elements in the Israeli government & society that would actually welcome an intifada. These are the two risks clearly laid out by Kerry in public statements in Israel, and the reason he gave for his energetic efforts to promote a peace settlement, but most of Israel is choosing to ignore it and go about their business as usual.

    2. This is deliberate political grandstanding with a clear goal. Who knows what that goal might be. For sure it is a huge diversion, like the Senate draft bill on Iran sanctions.

    3. The Israeli government is close to being forced to settle with the Palestinians. Kerry’s persistence is paying off. This dust-up is a good thing for our side as it is nothing more than a rage reaction at being outfoxed.

    • oh I forgot
      4. The Obama WH and State Dept. deliberately blew this up into a public incident as part of their own strategy. They could have let it pass, they’ve let plenty of other Israeli provocations pass, but they didn’t.

      • Yes. From the piece, ‘State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, using similar language to Carney, registered dismay at the comments, considering Kerry had 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.”‘

      • It is impossible for Washington not to respond to disgusting insults by a tiny client state which presumes it is entitled to wag the dog.

      • Yaalon has given the President an opportunity which is worth a great deal.

        Ban the man from the U.S. and from direct contact with our Department of Defense until further notice. Netanyahu will get the message.

  2. Kerry tries to force outrageous terms down Abu Mazen’s throat and even that is not enough for Yaalon. The Israelis prefer no deal to a very good deal for Israel!!

    • Force what terms? Abu Mazen has already rejected a united Jereselum, land swaps, and putting the refugees anywhere but in Israel.

      • A United Jerusalem is not on the table.
        It makes no sense to seek a two state solution with a united capital. We don’t know what the status of the boundary negotiations is. And until that is resolved, the rest of this, especially land swaps, have to be on hold. Frankly, I don’t think that Israel has accepted the 1967 Green Line as a basis for for negotiation.. If they were to do that with swaps, the rest of it could be over expeditiously. Most of the Israeli objections are phony.

    • Of course they prefer no deal! That’s what they have preferred since shortly after 1967. What they should have been confronted with since the beginning is a steely American determination to show them that it will lose them “their deal” with the United States if they continue this petulant nonsense.

  3. Hugh Sansom

    “Messianic” — from a member of a party that occupies land and brutalizes its population on the basis of ‘divine’ edict?

  4. Israel seems to be getting to quite enjoy slapping us in the face. They seem to be doing it at an ever increasing rate. Where will all this arrogance and hubris lead?

    Perhaps Yaalon makes the best suggestion: have the US just “leaves us be”. He is right, we should treat Israel the way that we treat other thuggish regimes that don’t matter and just ignore them.

    • 200-400 nuclear weapons, a long history of obnoxious espionage against the US, to the point that the heads of our intelligence agencies have said Israel is the greatest intelligence threat to the US? Serial and parallel “I don’t care” attacks on unarmed ships at sea, on neighboring nations and even US naval ships (remember the USS Liberty?). All that weaponry and bigotry under the control of people who seem to have a death wish to go with unbridled corruption? Not, unfortunately, a “thuggish regime” that can be ignored. Too bad our local politics and religiosity at home seem to make it impossible for our empire to “do the right thing,” or even figure out what that is…

  5. Yaalon’s comments reveal Israel’s real intentions, to keep talking about the “Peace Process”, but never to do anything tangible to bring it about. If an American administration tries to take some serious steps towards ending the conflict that clearly is a nuisance and a threat to those who want to continue with the expansion of the settlements and occupying more Palestinian territory.

      • Mr Watson, that is a big topic and requires one or more articles. Iranian-American relations have not always been bad. In fact, for many decades Iran was a main pillar of US foreign policy in the Middle East. We may not get back to that position again in the near future but a reduction in mutual hostility is a good start. The fact is that the bulk of Iranians are pro-American and would like to have friendly relations with the rest of the world. The following link provides some ideas about the benefits of good relations:
        link to

        • Thank you for this reply and the interesting citation to the Katz article.

          Saudi and Israeli claims that Iran can not be trusted are slender reeds on which to base an indefinite American containment policy. They mimic Israel’s propaganda about the inherently devious nature of the Palestinian People.

          Containment is an inherently hostile policy and can have all sorts of negative consequences which become more dangerous as time passes. There must be credible reasons to believe that such measures will be necessary more or less permanently to not even attempt to work on the relationship.

          And then there is the odd fact that Israel and Saudi Arabia want to defeat a specifically American foreign policy initiative based on American interests and supported by the bulk of the governments and populations in the West. Uncivil, even racist claims about an entire nation will not carry the day against that.

          So I am hoping that we may learn what it is in terms of strategic rivalries, economic interests and historic enmities, etc., which may drive this particular part of the conflict.

  6. It would appear that Americans are waking up to the fact that the current leaders in Israel are just flat out wrong. Today there are head lines from all the major American news papers quoting their discuss with AIPAC backed US congress people. I like to read the reader comment section, and it seems there is overwhelming support by the US public to back the Obama administration’s position with Iran, on the p5+1 agreement.

    I have stated before how Israel may encounter a back lash in public opinion, and I think that is finally happening. People are sick and tired of war. Plus, we cannot afford these wars.

    It is time for Israel’s liberals to come forward, and start ruling more from a point of fairness. This madness must end!

    • The last time Israel’s liberals tried that, Israel’s conservatives assassinated Prime Minister Rabin.
      It is not pleasant to think that the only way for Israel’s liberals to guide Israeli policy would be to wage and win a civil war against Israel’s conservatives. But is there anything else that would work?

    • sadly, Israel’s liberals, of which there are many, they hang out on Ha’aretz, have already tried and failed to change government policies. With regard to the occupation, Israel’s liberals tried to do an organized boycott of OT goods and services — this brought a reaction in the form of a new Knesset law against boycotting.

      If it’s any consolation, the US enjoys a greater degree of tolerance for dissent.

  7. Carole Keller

    This is disgusting and proof positive – esp. if he speaks for most in govt – that they have no interest in peace, even to protect themselves, but simply want domination. And too many forget that this IS the Palestinians land. Makes me ill.

  8. Frankly, I was astonished by the harshness and apparent anger of the US State Department response. SOP would be to dance around, emphasizing the “special relationship” and “unquestioning support” yada yada – in other words, to suck it up, and then apologize for whining.
    This may be a hopeful trend in US-Israel relations.

  9. Stephen Hatt

    Let me try to understand: for decades steal Palestinian land. Turn land over to Israeli developers to construct vast quantities of housing to be very profitably sold. Then Israel whines about corruption in the Palestinian Authority?

  10. Professor, you’re a Middle East expert.

    Do you think the use of the term “messianic” to describe John Kerry is a dog whistle for religious-right Israelis?

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