Trending Topics:

Now the US is trying to ‘delegitimize’ Israel’s defense minister

Israel/Palestine
on 68 Comments
Moshe Ya'alon with Pam Geller from Wikimedia commons

Moshe Ya’alon with Pam Geller, in 2006, from Wikimedia commons

Have you followed the latest flap over Israel’s rightwing defense minister? He’s attacked the U.S. and had to apologize, after the matter became an international incident, thanks in part to Matt Lee of the Associated Press who suggested at the State Department that the minister ought to lose his job for undermining the alleged special relationship.

What does it say to you about your allegedly – I’m going to say now – close and enduring partnership when the defense minister of your top ally in the Middle East runs around making – insulting the Secretary of State and criticizing the President for being a wimp, essentially, and not defending Israel’s interests?

“Is it a good idea for this guy to still have this job?”

This isn’t the first time. Back in January, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon attacked John Kerry‘s peace effort, saying the US Secretary of State has a “misplaced obsession and messianic fervor” and should just win a Nobel Prize and then go away.

Ya’alon had to apologize.

This week Ya’alon publicly accused the US of weakness for failing to be the world’s policeman and stand up to Iran. Here’s Haaretz’s report on the comments:

On Monday, Ya’alon attacked the United States for failing to lead the campaign against Iran. “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, speaking during an event at Tel Aviv University, as reported by Haaretz.

… [He] also criticized American conduct regarding the Ukraine crisis, as well as American relations with China and Asia. At one point, the defense minister had said: “Look what’s happening in Ukraine, where the United States is demonstrating weakness, unfortunately.”

Ya’alon also said that the U.S. got as much out of all that military aid to Israel as Israel does.

JPost reported American rage over the comments:

“We were shocked by Moshe Ya’alon’s comments, which seriously call into question his commitment to Israel’s relationship with the United States,” a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday night. “Moreover, this is part of a disturbing pattern in which the defense minister disparages the US administration, and insults its most senior officials.”

And under heavy pressure from the U.S. and Prime Minister Netanyahu, Ya’alon apologized. JPost:

In a phone conversation with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Wednesday night, Ya’alon said that his comments “were not intended to express opposition, criticism or offense to the United States,” adding that maintaining strong ties with the United States is Israel’s utmost priority…

But is it a sincere apology? Notice JPost’s url for this story: “Americans-trying-to-deligitimize-Israels-Defense-Minister-Yaalon.” (I guess if you’re a tail wagging a dog for a long time, you start thinking you’re a dog.)

Cut to Foggy Bottom.

Before Ya’alon’s apology came out yesterday, the matter was taken up by AP’s Matt Lee and another reporter at yesterday’s press briefing at the State Department. At 33:00 or so.

Matt Lee: You are familiar or aware of the comments that the Israeli defense minister has made this week? What do you think of them?

MS. Jen PSAKI: Well, clearly, his comments were not constructive. Secretary Kerry spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu this morning, and he protested to him his concerns about these comments.

We maintain – the United States maintains an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security. President Obama has provided an all-time high level of security assistance to Israel, including critical Iron Dome and missile defense funding, even during times of budget uncertainty, to provide Israel with unprecedented capabilities and options that help Israel better deal with regional threats and challenges. And Prime Minister Netanyahu himself has said that the breadth of our security cooperation is unprecedented.

So it is certainly confusing to us why Defense Minister Ya’alon would continue his pattern of making comments that don’t accurately represent the scope of our close partnership on a range of security issues and on the enduring partnership between the United States and Israel.

Lee: Well, what does it say to you about your allegedly – I’m going to say now – close and enduring partnership when the defense minister of your top ally in the Middle East runs around making – insulting the Secretary of State and criticizing the President for being a wimp, essentially, and not defending Israel’s interests? Does that really – is that reflective of a close – and maybe enduring, leave that out of it. I that indicative of a close relationship with either the defense minister himself or the Government of Israel, which employs this guy?

Ms. PSAKI: I don’t think it reflects the view of the Government of Israel, and I think it doesn’t reflect, naturally, our relationship.

QUESTION: Okay. What did – are you able to tell us anything about what the prime minister’s response to Secretary Kerry was when he protested Defense Minister Ya’alon?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to get into that conversation…. I’d point you to the Israelis.

QUESTION: Do you – from his call with Prime Minister Netanyahu, do you get the sense that Prime Minister Netanyahu agrees with his defense minister?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to characterize it. But I think I will just clearly say that I think there’s a recognition and a support for the strong security relationship between Israel and the United States by the Government of Israel. And Prime Minister Netanyahu himself has said that many times before.

Lee: Okay. So Prime Minister Netanyahu – his comments to the Secretary are indicative of the understanding in Israel that this is a close relationship? Is that —

MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to speak to his specific comments but he has said many times in the past publicly about his support for the strong relationship.

Lee: Did the Secretary ask – then forget about Bibi’s response. Did the Secretary ask for either the prime minister to go out and make some comment and say something publicly? Did he ask the prime minister to tell the defense minister to go and make some comment – kind of comment publicly?

MS. PSAKI: I think the Secretary is – has a tough skin and is happy to move on beyond this — but did feel it was important to express his concern about the comments.

Lee: The problem is that this seems to go beyond just him and his – whether he has tough skin or not. The defense minister seems to be – is questioning the very essence of the relationship and suggesting that the United States does not have Israel’s security at its – as a policy anymore. That seems fundamentally at odds with everything that you have been – that this Administration has been trying to say. Is it a good idea for this guy to still have this job?

MS. PSAKI: And does not – that is not something I would speak to, Matt.

Lee: What does it say about Prime – if Prime Minister Netanyahu is not prepared to publicly rebuke the defense minister or fire him or at least say – to say something publicly, to say that he does not agree, what does that say about the relationship?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to speak to what he is or isn’t prepared to do. I just outlined what specifically the facts are, which you’re very familiar with, about our security relationship. The comments of the defense minister are completely inconsistent with that. So that’s what I would point you to.

Lee: Well, would you like an apology?

MS. PSAKI: That is not – we’re ready to move forward and keep talking about the peace process, Matt.

QUESTION: Can we stay on this for one second? You just said that you don’t think he was speaking for the Israeli Government when he made his comments, but have you received that assurance from the Israeli side?

MS. PSAKI: I think many, many Israeli officials have spoken publicly, including the prime minister, consistently over the last weeks, months, and years about the strength of our security relationship and the importance of our – the enduring bond between the United States and Israel.

QUESTION: Sure. But I mean previously, when – I mean, in other cases, when members of a country’s government make certain statements that seem out of line or somehow inappropriate —

MS. PSAKI: Well, I’d point you to the Israeli Government. You can ask them this question.

QUESTION: — they – somehow they – sometimes those kinds of – the governments of those officials make it clear to you that it’s – that they weren’t speaking for the government.

MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to speak for the Israeli Government, so you can certainly lob that question to them, if you’d like.

QUESTION: But does it concern you that you haven’t received that assurance from them?

MS. PSAKI: I think I’ve addressed this question. Next question?

QUESTION: On the missing flight?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm. The missing flight, sure.

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

68 Responses

  1. amigo
    amigo
    March 20, 2014, 3:21 pm

    ” [He] also criticized American conduct regarding the Ukraine crisis, as well as American relations with China and Asia. At one point, the defense minister had said: “Look what’s happening in Ukraine, where the United States is demonstrating weakness, unfortunately.”

    Disingenuous at best .Downright hypocrisy coming from the people who illegally annexed The Syrian Heights and Jerusalem and are discussing on a daily basis annexing most of the west bank without the approval of those being annexed.

    At least the Crimean people were given the opportunity to have their say.

    But he is right about US /EU weakness but not for the same reason.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      March 20, 2014, 5:43 pm

      The notion that EU is going to go to war against 30% of their energy supply is madness. It’s not weakness, its realpolitik. And anyway, Russia may have gained Crimea but the West got Ukraine. So who won in the end? Yaalon doesn’t seem to realize this. Then again he has a settler mindset. He believes in colonization and apartheid and any deviation from this is “weakness”. It’s the only trick he knows.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        March 20, 2014, 11:30 pm

        @ Krauss,

        Q: And anyway, Russia may have gained Crimea but the West got Ukraine.

        R: Isn’t there still the possibility of more breakaway entities [eastern Ukraine] embracing the motherland, so that the west ends up with a new installment of a new ‘Eastern Germany?’

        That breadbasket might be snatched right from the NATO claws, as it stretches out its bloodstained fingers, closer and closer toward the grumpy bear…

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 22, 2014, 3:27 pm

        “The notion that EU is going to go to war against 30% of their energy supply is madness. It’s not weakness, its realpolitik.”Krauss

        Krauss, I am referring to the EU/US weakness in dealing with Israel,s illegal annexations and continuing land theft.So their idiot sanctions against Russia are hypocritical at best.

  2. Philip Munger
    Philip Munger
    March 20, 2014, 3:21 pm

    Such a typical Geller op-shot: She’s rubbing up against his back, and doesn’t look like there’s anything beneath her blouse. Could probably fill an album with her doing stuff like that.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      March 20, 2014, 4:36 pm

      The disturbing part is that you have so many images of her in your brain. Have you stalked her online?

      • Philip Munger
        Philip Munger
        March 20, 2014, 8:59 pm

        Have you stalked her online?

        No. We had a disagreement on-line eight or nine years ago. Later, I wrote a series of columns about her testifying before the Alaska legislature regarding a boilerplate anti-Sharia law bill. She sent me a couple of nastygrams over that.

        She flaunts images of herself in the arms of neocon males often. Not as often as she used to.

      • Sumud
        Sumud
        March 21, 2014, 3:14 am

        When you have some time Krauss look up her archives on the web site of the settler rag Arutz Sheva (Israel National News). She really is batshit crazy, hated even Bush because he wasn’t subservient enough to zionists.

        Philip is right about her trashiness – check out the video she posted of herself swimming in a bikini while visiting Israel, trying to sex it up. She has her paws on old conservative men all the time in photos. Actually I find her fascinating and revolting, like a car crash – hard to look away. Sex has nothing to do with it, I’m gay.

        Geller is a fake Objectivist who markets herself as a disciple of Ayn Rand but knows hardly anything about her. It’s actually very odd. The only thing I can come up with is that, based on her Arutz Sheva articles, she is a zionist extremist who will do whatever she can to push her agenda, and that includes promoting islamophobia, sloppy kissing old men and sexing it up wherever she can, and pretending to be an Objectivist to increase her appeal to conservatives. Ugh. And stupid old white men fall for it.

      • annie
        annie
        March 21, 2014, 4:44 am

        I find her fascinating and revolting, like a car crash – hard to look away.

        very apt description sumud.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        March 21, 2014, 6:29 am

        I am not sure if “fake Objectivist” works anymore. After all there are other prominent Objectivist nut cases like Yaron Brooks.

        I was once involved in a wikipedia fight when his O’Reilly interview–the one that Crooks and Liars allude to above–was still available on the web, and before the PR department–at least that’s what it felt like–of the Ayn Rand Institute took over. At the time his CV even there as executive director was quite thin. But as a result of the talk discussions there it was enormously enhanced and he developed from a “Middle East Expert” to an American entrepreneur, philosopher, and academic.

        To become a “Middle East expert” you apparently only need to be born in Israel and serve in the Israeli military for instance in intelligence. I challenged that and by now it has disappeared.

      • annie
        annie
        March 21, 2014, 9:31 am

        involved in a wikipedia fight when his O’Reilly interview–the one that Crooks and Liars allude to above–was still available on the web, and before the PR department–at least that’s what it felt like–of the Ayn Rand Institute took over.

        LeaNder, the pr department of the Ayn Rand Institute – took over what? wiki, crooks and liars, the Ayn Rand Institute or the o’reilly show?

        as a result of the talk discussions there it was enormously enhanced and he developed from….

        as a result of the talk you were having on wiki? his CV was enormously enhanced at the Ayn Rand Institute, where he was already executive director ?

        sorry, i’m just curious…if you could elaborate.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        March 21, 2014, 12:43 pm

        Ok, yes, I needed a lot of hyphens (dashes?).

        Annie, the Ayn Rand PR department in connection with Wikipedia Objectivists took over to shape the article on him, I meant. ;)

        It was also pretty cleverly done, and I respect good colleagues. Initially they owned up to the interview with O’Reilly and posted it on the Ayn Rand Institute website. If I recall correctly after having already expanded his CV.

        Can you imagine anyone making O’Reilly appear as leftist, anyway. O’Reilly was shocked: but wouldn’t that turn us into Nazis? That’s how he responded offered this type of idea: If necessary nuke them.

        Yaron Brook is an interesting case. I can’t deny I once entertained the idea, if he could possibly be a mole to get ideas into the heads of the less easy to control non-religious. He claimed to be anti-neocon but as far as war in the ME is concerned he was a 100% neocon. I guess he is a neocon minus religion.

      • Sumud
        Sumud
        March 21, 2014, 10:15 pm

        I am not sure if “fake Objectivist” works anymore.

        What do you mean Leander?

        I know Objectivists are useless on US foreign policy – unlike libertarians. AR’s rationale for Israel, and colonialism in general, is that it is OK because the land and resources weren’t being used ‘productively’ in the first place – a complete contradiction of everything she ever had to say about property rights…

        My point about Geller is that she is not an Objectivist – but merely markets herself as one to appeal to a conservative audience. She’s not even a crappy or part-time Objectivist, it’s 100% fake, PR only.

      • edwardm
        edwardm
        March 21, 2014, 11:30 pm

        Hows’ about Leonard Peikoff for a nut job –
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoAWCwm-UXw
        or Rand herself –
        “An Asian peasant who labors through all of his waking hours, with tools created in Biblical times—a South American aborigine who is devoured by piranha in a jungle stream—an African who is bitten by the tsetse fly—an Arab whose teeth are green with decay in his mouth—these do live with their ‘natural environment,’ but are scarcely able to appreciate its beauty.”
        Uh huh. More objectionable than objective, IMO. Actual LaVeyan Satanism is something of an improvement on her so called “philosophy”. (Don’t tell Paul Ryan!)

    • just
      just
      March 20, 2014, 5:46 pm

      Geller is the ‘virtual’ settler on ziocaine…………kinda trashy, eh?

      She’s just an embarrassment to women everywhere. Following in the ‘virtual’ footsteps of Daniella Weiss– both of them all cozy with their schtick– making moola on the backs of dead children/women/men– people.

      See the coy and malevolent Weiss here:

      http://images1.ynet.co.il/PicServer2/01082004/426770/YE0250385_a.jpg

      Would you want to hug either of them?

  3. American
    American
    March 20, 2014, 3:32 pm

    ” the importance of our – the enduring bond between the United States and Israel.”

    ” and on the enduring partnership between the United States and Israel.”

    ” the United States maintains an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.”

    Vomit, vomit, vomit.

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich
      March 20, 2014, 8:59 pm

      @ American,

      Q: Vomit, vomit, vomit.

      R: It’s a bit messy, but, in the spirit of comradery [so common amongst us ordinary foot soldiers], here’s my barf bag…

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 20, 2014, 9:06 pm

      @ American
      Oh yeah, I puked too.

    • Sumud
      Sumud
      March 21, 2014, 3:18 am

      Statements like that are an insult to those of us around the world who live in countries that are REAL allies of the US, ie. those with mutual defence treaties with the US.

      Israel is a parasite, not an ally. They take only.

  4. just
    just
    March 20, 2014, 4:14 pm

    “We maintain – the United States maintains an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.”

    This mantra needs to be stopped! It makes me sick to my stomach to hear it ad nauseum– just once can someone in our government say that they maintain an “unshakeable commitment” to our Constitution and our security, and mean it? Could they for once, admit that our relationship with Israel and our complicity with their crimes is a threat to our security? Could they also please address the silencing of voices of the SJP on campuses and the deportation of CODEPINK and other women who were headed to Gaza?

    Lastly, Ya’alon is just parroting Netanyahu and the rest of the ziomaniacs in power.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      March 20, 2014, 4:30 pm

      “We maintain – the United States maintains an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.”

      That phrase appears on every report regarding meetings between US and Israeli politicians and it is less than meaningless.

      • just
        just
        March 20, 2014, 4:47 pm

        Not to the uninformed. Some folks really believe what their government tells them and never question as long as they think, (wrongly) that it doesn’t affect them. Islamophobia is the flavor of the recent decades, preceded by the red scare, etc…………

        Some folks even believe Jimmy Inhofe, et al who say that climate change is a myth……fill ‘er UP! Burn, baby, burn.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        March 20, 2014, 4:54 pm

        In terms of a guarantee it is worthless.
        The US will shaft Israel when it becomes necessary to do so.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        March 20, 2014, 5:04 pm

        @ seafoid,

        Q: The US will shaft Israel when it becomes necessary to do so.

        R: I have to disagree, for your assumption relies on politicians freed of the ‘C’ + ‘TM’ holocaust, antisemite yolk that glues way too many goy to the guilt trip only matched by that guy staring at you from a cross.

        ‘He died for your sins…’

        sponsored by ‘Guilty-R-U’ Inc.

      • Krauss
        Krauss
        March 20, 2014, 5:45 pm

        It already is; see the negotiations with Iran. Israel hates it.
        Can’t do anything about it.

        I mean they tried, via AIPAC, but they got humiliated.
        And I think this is also driving Yaalon’s outrage. He and his boss can’t use AIPAC like they used to, as the covert warfare against the sitting U.S. president is no longer as effective as it used to be and as such, they respond with outrage. It just accelerates the situation.

        The drama queens in Jerusalem.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        March 20, 2014, 6:47 pm

        @ Daniel Rich

        Gen Y 20 somethings who can’t get a job and will never be able to buy their own home owe nothing to Zionism.
        Jewish self determination means taking responsibility on.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        March 20, 2014, 7:33 pm

        @ seafoid,

        Q: Gen Y 20 somethings who can’t get a job and will never be able to buy their own home owe nothing to Zionism.

        R: They may [or may not] vote. That’s about it. Politicians on the other hand [the one not frisking the loaded money trough] are prone to an unfathomable array of juicy info, gathered by those who do care.

        It’s not about what you did, but about who knows about it [aka ‘They had Bill by the Balls’].

    • March 20, 2014, 5:25 pm

      just let me characterize it this way. the special relationship is like a parasite feeding and living off a host. read “the host and the parasite”!

  5. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    March 20, 2014, 4:28 pm

    Philip Munger @ “doesn’t look like there’s anything beneath her blouse” you are so naughty Philip, I did not even look, which is, unfortunately confirmation that I am past it. On why Netanyahu did not say he was not speaking for the government. It was Bill Clinton who drily observed after meeting the newly elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “he thinks he is the superpower and we are here to do whatever he requires.”

    • just
      just
      March 20, 2014, 6:34 pm

      “The drama queens in Jerusalem”.

      Krauss– the drama queens hail from Tel Aviv, and from far- flung cities and banks. They only wish they were firmly ensconced in Jerusalem.

      ain’t.gonna.happen.

    • American
      American
      March 20, 2014, 8:36 pm

      ”’which is, unfortunately confirmation that I am past it. ”…Harry

      I must be past it too….Geller looks like a vampire to me.

  6. seafoid
    seafoid
    March 20, 2014, 4:41 pm

    Jen is so much more comfortable talking about the LGBT community in Uganda and how the US stands ready to help discussions that would help their situation , obviously sadly impossible in the case of the Palestinians, you’ll have to take that up with the Israeli government. Museveni doesn’t get such a free pass but of course he’s black.

    • piotr
      piotr
      March 21, 2014, 1:49 am

      Israel is very cosy with Uganda, by the way.

      While Museveni started as a competent and more benevolent replacement of a previous dictator, he is quite erratic. But doing some odd favors to Israel is a time proven way of gating a free pass from USA.

  7. seafoid
    seafoid
    March 20, 2014, 4:45 pm

    Chief Clown Shimon Peres has an all new show, in Farsi

    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/diplomania/.premium-1.580992

    “The Jewish people and the Iranian people have a very long history and are going to have a long future. The relations between your people and our people were more than good,” said Peres. “I am speaking to you as a human being to a human being and I am telling you – as we had a great history we can and should have a great future. Don’t postpone it. Let’s have a year of peace and forget war and threatening. We can do it.”

    Along with the greeting to the Iranian people Peres gave an interview to Israel Radio in Farsi, and to the Farsi news station Radio Farda, which is broadcast over the radio and the Internet all over Iran. Peres spoke about his experiences from his visits to Iran in the days when the two countries had full diplomatic relations.

    “I have known the Iranian people for many years,” said Peres in the radio interviews. “Your people’s history calls for peace, and for all the nations to live together. Israel is opposed to bloodshed everywhere in the world. I hope that the Iranian people will allow the younger generation to build a new future, which is not filled with blood but is filled with peace and cooperation. We must talk to one another and march together toward a future of prosperity and wellbeing. Israelis and Iranians can live in peace. There’s no reason why they couldn’t.”

    You couldn’t make it up. Would be a great PhD.

    • Sumud
      Sumud
      March 21, 2014, 3:26 am

      PS. pssssst hey bazari want to buy some guns or tanks or cannons or missiles or planes or drones or uranium…?

  8. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    March 20, 2014, 4:53 pm

    note to editor:

    (I guess if you’re a tail wagging a dog for a long time, you start thinking you’re a dog.)

    It’s a horrible line anyway. A title like ‘Don’ t wag a dog with your own tail’ would’ve made more sense.

  9. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    March 20, 2014, 5:12 pm

    Fortunately ‘we’ have legitimized this @ http://rt.com/news/ukraine-forced-resignation-nationalism-674/

    Democracy?

    Bring it on!

  10. just
    just
    March 20, 2014, 5:21 pm

    Happy Nowruz to everyone who celebrates this wonderful day.

    Enough with the “Israel is opposed to bloodshed everywhere in the world”. Take a peek over the illegal and odious WALL into Gaza!

    Peres might just be receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor, you know.

    “The Senate on Thursday evening passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) to award Israeli President Shimon Peres with a Congressional Gold Medal. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now awaits passage by the House of Representatives. If the bill is enacted, President Peres would be the first sitting President of Israel to receive this prestigious award.

    The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award in the United States and is awarded to individuals, organizations, or events that have made a tremendous contribution to the history and culture of our country.”

    http://jpupdates.com/2014/03/14/senate-unanimously-passes-bi-partisan-bill-award-president-peres-congressional-gold-medal/

    PS– where/how/when did Shimon learn Farsi?

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      March 20, 2014, 5:33 pm

      Prolly while he was selling weapons to the Shah.

      • just
        just
        March 20, 2014, 5:37 pm

        Oh seafoid– I thought the very same thing.

        Perhaps all from extra- special Mossad education………..or from the CIA or from Rosetta Stone.

        LOL

    • jon s
      jon s
      March 20, 2014, 5:57 pm

      Just, Between Israel and Gaza there’s a fence, not a wall, and I don’t know what’s illegal about it. The wall part is between Gaza and Egypt.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        March 20, 2014, 6:52 pm

        It’s fencing, barbed wire, sensors , buffer zones and anyone undesirable entering the zones is shot .

        It’s more sophisticated than the Auschwitz perimeter arrangements it seems to have been based on.

      • lonely rico
        lonely rico
        March 20, 2014, 7:24 pm

        … buffer zones and anyone undesirable entering the zones is shot .

        Worth noting that the buffer zones are INSIDE Gaza, meaning that Gazan territory is no longer theirs. This desperately needed land is used as a target range, for the courageous Israel Defense (sic) Force sharpshooters with high-power sniper rifles.

      • just
        just
        March 20, 2014, 7:22 pm

        It ain’t no fence.

        wiki:
        “The Israeli West Bank barrier is a security and separation barrier (see “Names of the barrier”) under construction by the State of Israel along and within the West Bank. Upon completion, the barrier’s total length will be approximately 700 kilometres (430 mi).[1] 90% of the length of this barrier is a fence with vehicle-barrier trenches surrounded by an on-average 60 metres (200 ft) wide exclusion area, and 10% of the barrier is an 8 metres (26 ft)-tall concrete wall.[2] As of 2012, 439.7 km (273.2 mi) of barrier (62.1%) have been built, 56.6 km (35.2 mi) (8%) are under construction and 211.7 km (131.5 mi) (29.9%) are projected but construction hasn’t begun.[3] The barrier is built mainly in the West Bank and partly along the 1949 Armistice line, or “Green Line” between Israel and Palestinian West Bank.[4] According to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, 8.5% of the West Bank area will after completion be on the Israeli side of the barrier, and 3.4% partly or completely surrounded on the eastern side.[5]

        Israel argues that the barrier is necessary to protect Israeli civilians from Palestinian terrorism, including the suicide bombing attacks that increased significantly during the Second Intifada.[6] There has been a reduced number of incidents of suicide bombings since the construction of the barrier. According to statistics published by the Israeli government, between 2000 and July 2003, when the “first continuous segment” of the barrier was built, 73 Palestinian suicide bombings were carried out from the West Bank, killing 293 Israelis and injuring over 1,900. However, from August 2003 to the end of 2006, only 12 attacks were carried out, killing 64 Israelis and wounding 445.[7] Supporters argue that this is indicative of the barrier being effective in preventing such attacks.[8]

        Opponents of the barrier object that the route substantially deviates from the Green Line into the occupied territories captured by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967. They argue that the barrier is an illegal attempt to annex Palestinian land under the guise of security,[9] violates international law,[10] has the effect of undermining negotiations (by establishing new borders),[11] and severely restricts Palestinians who live nearby, particularly their ability to travel freely within the West Bank, including to and from the lands on which their subsistence depends,[12] and to access work in Israel.[13] In a 2004 advisory opinion resulting from a Palestinian-initiated U.N. resolution, the International Court of Justice considered that “Israel cannot rely on a right of self-defence or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of the construction of the wall”. The Court asserted that “the construction of the wall, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law”.[14]

        Two similar barriers, the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier and the Israeli-built[15] 7–9 meter (23–30 ft) wall separating Gaza from Egypt (temporarily breached on January 23, 2008), which is currently under Egyptian control, are also controversial.[16]”

        and

        “World court tells Israel to tear down illegal wall
        The Guardian, Friday 9 July 2004 19.02 EDT

        The world court yesterday branded Israel’s vast concrete and steel barrier through the West Bank a political not a security measure, and a de facto land grab. The judges told Israel to tear it down and compensate the victims.

        The International Court of Justice at The Hague said signatories to the Geneva convention, such as Britain and the US, are obliged to ensure Israel upholds the ruling.

        It condemned what it described as the widespread confiscation and destruction of Palestinian property, and the disruption of the lives of thousands of protected civilians, caused by construction of what Israel calls the “anti-terror fence”. It also called on the UN to consider measures against Israel. Sanctions appear unlikely in the face of US opposition, but Palestinians hailed the ruling as a landmark judgment that could mobilise international opinion.

        “Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law; it is under an obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated,” the court ruled.

        The decision, endorsed by all but the American judge on the 15-person bench, is non-binding. But the Palestinian leadership said it would use the ruling to seek UN action against Israel. ”

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/jul/10/israel3

        10 years later, things have only gotten worse. Can you say ILLEGAL?

      • talknic
        talknic
        March 20, 2014, 7:28 pm

        jon s and I don’t know what’s illegal about it”

        LSOS

      • just
        just
        March 20, 2014, 7:33 pm

        “The wall part is between Gaza and Egypt”.

        Nope. The illegal wall is all over Palestinian lands. Stop blaming Egypt for Israel’s crimes. (although they, too, have been complicit!)

        Yech– if there is one thing I cannot stomach, it is a liar.

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 21, 2014, 3:24 am

        Just, Your comment, and my response , was about Gaza. Now you’re referring to the West Bank.

      • talknic
        talknic
        March 21, 2014, 5:26 am

        jon s Now you’re referring to the West Bank

        The so called border with Gaza has a security fence, the equivalent to a wall. It doesn’t stand on any border, it stands on an Armistice Demarcation Line. There is a big chunk of territory next to the Gaza Strip to the North and to the East. Territory Israel illegally acquired by war and has never legally annexed (by agreement) http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk

        In order to prove me wrong you’ll have to show how Israel legally acquired the territories it acquired by war. Good luck ….

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        March 21, 2014, 5:27 am

        It’s not a picket fence, Jon. It’s more like the Auschwitz fence.
        Many people have been killed trying to cross it.

        If it were a simple wall it would be far less lethal. I think the fence angle is deliberate- “Look! It’s not a wall!”

        There is a simple wall between us and the neighbours. We didn’t bother with a fence with sensors and death squads. We aren’t paranoid.

  11. seafoid
    seafoid
    March 20, 2014, 5:32 pm

    Ya’alon and Danon are part of the fruitcake wing of the Likud. No surrender over YESHA.
    Yeah, right.

    Get G-d down here to tell us what she said. With the documents.

    • jon s
      jon s
      March 21, 2014, 9:43 am

      I hope the fence is as penetration-proof as possible.
      Your mention of Auschwitz is contemptible and stupid.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        March 21, 2014, 12:14 pm

        “I hope the fence is as penetration-proof as possible.
        Your mention of Auschwitz is contemptible and stupid.”

        What is contemptible and stupid is your cheerleading for the death strips and assassination squads on installed on Gazan land behind the Apartheid wall.

  12. Krauss
    Krauss
    March 20, 2014, 5:39 pm

    This kind of passive-agressive response is hilarious. It just illustrates what all of us already know: the only thing keeping the so-called “special relationship” together is money and lots of it.

    Also, the fact that Bibi merely slaps Yaalon on the wrist but never fires him is also a humiliation to the US. But what can Obama do? He doesn’t have any real leverage or all his donors(or rather, most of the democratic donors his party needs in the midterms) will be breathing down the neck, not to mention the shitstorm in the pro-Israel media, such as the NYT, WaPo, WSJ etc.

  13. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    March 20, 2014, 6:31 pm

    RE: “On Monday, Ya’alon attacked the United States for failing to lead the campaign against Iran. ‘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. ~ Weiss

    NOTE THE SIMILARITY OF YA’ALON’S ATTACK TO THIS RACIST COMMENT BY MALCOLM HOENLIN: American Jewish leader calls Iranians manipulative ‘bazaaris’, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss.net, 1/31/14

    [EXCERPT] From Haaretz’s Chemi Shalev, who interviewed Malcolm Hoenlein, head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations:

    When Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Zarif was his country’s envoy to the United Nations, he invited Malcolm Hoenlein to have dinner at his New York home. “I keep kosher, so I didn’t eat,” Hoenlein recalls, “but we had plenty to talk about.”

    “He’s a charming guy,” Hoenlein says, “I don’t dispute it. He’s intelligent and clever. Iranian President Hassan Rohani is also clever.” He pauses for a few seconds before delivering his punch line: “But we forget: These guys have been ‘bazaaris’ [bazaar merchants] for 2,000 years, while we come in as novices. They can run circles around us. They know how to negotiate and how to manipulate every situation.

    Heard any good stories about shifty-eyed Jews lately?

    Hoenlein’s organization represents Americans for Peace Now, and 51 other constituent groups. I wonder whether APN endorses Hoenlein’s view of Iranians as bazaaris– and his support for Senate sanctions legislation that would delegate an American decision about war in the Middle East to Israel? Imagine if any leader associated with APN made stereotypical racial comments about blacks, or Jews. . .

    SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2014/01/american-iranians-manipulated.html

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      March 20, 2014, 6:44 pm

      RE “Imagine if any leader associated with APN made stereotypical racial comments about blacks, or Jews. . .” ~ Weiss (from above)

      MY COMMENT: Thanks to of a couple of South Carolina GOP officials, it’s not necessary to imagine!*

      * SEE: “2 South Carolina Republicans Apologize for Reference to Jews”, The New York Times, 10/20/09

      [EXCERPT] Two Republican county chairmen in South Carolina have apologized for a newspaper op-ed article that stereotyped Jews as financial penny pinchers.

      The chairmen wrote the article in “The Times and Democrat” of Orangeburg, S.C., on Sunday in defense of Senator Jim DeMint’s opposition to Congressional earmarks, comparing his fiscal watchfulness to that of Jews.

      “There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves,” the opinion article stated. “By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation’s pennies and trying to preserve our country’s wealth and our economy’s viability to give all an opportunity to succeed.” . . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/us/21carolina.html?_r=0

  14. bilal a
    bilal a
    March 20, 2014, 6:49 pm

    worth reading, photo is disgusting like a still from Seinfeld:
    rom left: Jamie Kirchick, Eli Lake, Rosie Gray, Liz Wahl. Photo from Twitter.

    How Cold War-Hungry Neocons Stage Managed RT Anchor Liz Wahl’s Resignation
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/how_cold_war-hungry_neocons_stage_managed_liz_wahls_resignation_20140319

    from Rania Khalek ‏@RaniaKhalek 6h
    https://twitter.com/RaniaKhalek

  15. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    March 20, 2014, 8:33 pm

    The big story about the fireworks between the US government and Moshe Ya’alon is that the American mainstream media have failed to cover it — they have buried what is a very important story. Their prime directive is to protect Israel at all costs. Their unshakable narrative is that the United States and Israel are BFF — Americans need to be shielded from any deviations from that narrative, otherwise they might start asking uncomfortable questions.

    Remember early on in the Obama administration when Joe Biden and Obama began to complain in public about expanding Israeli settlements? They were told by AIPAC and the Israel lobby to shut up.

  16. ToivoS
    ToivoS
    March 20, 2014, 9:04 pm

    Has any US administration allowed Israeli officials to humiliate the POTUS this blatantly before? What kind of image of Obama this must be sending to the whole world? It is really pathetic and I must say as a US citizen downright embarrassing.

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich
      March 20, 2014, 9:57 pm

      @ ToivoS,

      Q: What kind of image of Obama this must be sending to the whole world?

      R: The real picture…

    • puppies
      puppies
      March 21, 2014, 1:36 am

      Toivo – “I must say as a US citizen downright embarrassing.”
      Bah. swallowing camels whole and straining at a gnat.

  17. kalithea
    kalithea
    March 21, 2014, 1:10 am

    Translation: We are the boss of you and we will kick your ass publicly whenever you get out of line and no there will be no public apology to save your face!

    • just
      just
      March 21, 2014, 7:04 am

      Real change will happen when the average American wakes the heck up and realizes that they are being kicked in their nether regions and their pockets by the state of Israel. Israel acts like a sociopathic teen, one who beats his parents regularly and then stuffs dinner in his mouth and steals everything that his parents have worked for their entire lives– everything, including love, respect, money and peace.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 21, 2014, 11:16 am

        @ just
        I read where in some states there’s legislation afoot to change normal public high school class hours to three hours later in the school day–because teens don’t like to get up early. Proponents have some alleged science behind them on the difference between teen brains and adult brains.

        Sheeple never wake up. They baa a lot though.

  18. kalithea
    kalithea
    March 21, 2014, 1:18 am

    Caption for picture: Smile for dee cameh-ra, mosheee, cause after dees photo-op, I’m going to biiiiite you on the neck and get my feex!

  19. Ecru
    Ecru
    March 21, 2014, 5:13 am

    Just as telling are the comments supporting the Defence Minister on JPost and Haaretz. I wonder if Americans would be as supportive of Israel if they knew that so many Israelis held them, and for that matter ALL non-Jews, in such contempt?

    • libra
      libra
      March 21, 2014, 8:26 pm

      Ecru: I wonder if Americans would be as supportive of Israel if they knew that so many Israelis held them, and for that matter ALL non-Jews, in such contempt?

      Don’t mention it to Mike Konrad but you can be sure their greatest contempt is reserved for non-jewish supporters of Israel, every last one of them a complete freier.

  20. NickJOCW
    NickJOCW
    March 21, 2014, 11:47 am

    What is fascinating about this exchange is that it is occurring at all. Matt Lee is clearly poking about, tenaciously trying to solicit something Psaki isn’t going to hand him. The manner in which she ducks and dodges strongly suggests that there is indeed something to hide. What he is angling for, of course, is confirmation of some divergence and he ain’t going to get it. I am sure the US unbreakable commitment to Israel’s security, so frequently voiced like a penitential Hail Mary, is as solid as ever. However, the two may no longer be in perfect agreement on exactly what that covers. Once it meant the US undertaking to protect Israel against attacks and incursions from its numerous unhappy neighbours and it doubtless remains just that, unchanged and as firm as ever; it is people like Ya’alon whose perception of the threats to their security covered by the US commitment has changed, it has insensibly morphed to include protection for Zionist territorial land grabs and flagrant abuses of Palestinian and other human rights etc. Obama is happy to give them is a charge account at Van Cleef and Arpels but not a wedding ring. Ya’alon recognises this and has no inclination to pretend he doesn’t. In a way, although unconscionably undiplomatic, he is being honest. These briefings rarely say anything, but the circumbendibus manner in which spokespersons avoid saying things is often highly illuminating.

  21. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    March 22, 2014, 1:55 am

    Might be of interest: U.S. says disappointed at no apology from Israeli defense chief

    Hasn’t any of those clowns ever trained an unwilling, bullying dog?

Leave a Reply