yaalon great 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon, who maintains close relations with Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu, suggested Sunday night that Israel had persuaded US
President Barack Obama to change his strategy from trying to solve the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict to merely managing it.
Speaking in English
to a gathering of the Likud Anglos organization in Jerusalem, Ya’alon recalled
many mistakes made by Obama and other Western leaders. He credited his own
government with persuading the US to right its wrongs.
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“We convinced the
American administration that there is no way to solve the conflict in one or two
years,” Ya’alon told a packed audience at the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center.
“The US is trying to manage the conflict now, rather than solve it.”
was the first time a high-ranking Netanyahu administration official has
indicated that the US had shifted from conflict resolution to management. But
there has been no public indication that the Americans have given up their hope
of solving the conflict, and the US helped draft the Quartet position that aims
to solve the conflict by the end of 2012.
Ya’alon mocked the
international community for what he called its “solutionism” and “nowism” in its
attempt to solve a conflict that cannot currently be solved. He said the nation
that has gotten used to getting food in an instant was impatiently insisting on
“They say we reached the moon, so why can’t we solve the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict?” Ya’alon said. “Do we have a solution for
everything? In medicine we don’t, not even in mathematics. God has
solutions. We as human beings should be more modest.”
about American representatives blaming Israel for the persistence of the
conflict at the beginning of the Obama administration, out of what he called
He said the US and other Western countries were
making mistakes due to naivete, patronization, appeasement, self-guilt and
He singled out Obama’s speech to the State
Department about the Middle East on May 19, in which the president called for
resolving the conflict over territory before resolving the refugee
“[The conflict] is not about territory,” Ya’alon said. “That was
the reason for the dispute with President Obama. When Obama said borders
would be decided first, we rejected it strongly. We said clearly, we’re not
going to fall again into the Oslo trap and let the Palestinians get without
On the Iranian issue, Ya’alon was also critical of Obama, saying
that “France and Great Britain are leading the West now in calling for crippling
sanctions on the Iranian central bank and preventing Iran from exporting oil,
while the US is unfortunately leading from behind.”
criticism of political opponents in Israel was that opposition leader Tzipi
Livni held Israel responsible for the conflict, even as former US secretary of
state Condoleezza Rice blamed the Palestinians and not Israel in her new book.