Yaalon Risks Being Isolated Following Slur Against Kerry

The defense minister for Israel might have given an apology for his offensive and rude comments about John Kerry the U.S. Secretary of State, but that outburst might make him marginalized by the rest of Washington.

On Tuesday, a furious diplomatic dispute erupted between the U.S. and its closest ally, when Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s Defense Minister was quoted as saying that Kerry was obsessed with the peace process and was working from a sense of messianism.

After those comments came to light, Washington lashed out immediately at what they call offensive remarks and demanded an immediate apology, which eventually came from the defense minister’s office on Tuesday, although the apology did not deny the comments had been made.

The apology said that Yaalon did not intend to cause offense to the U.S. Secretary of State and apologized if the Secretary had been offended by words that were attributed to Yaalon. The statement also thanks Kerry for his continued efforts to advance the peace talks.

The remarks by Yaalon also sparked much criticism within Israel, with a number of the cabinet members as well as opposition members saying that the personal attack towards Kelly was inappropriate.

Although it appears that the statement has seemed to head off any huge crisis, commentators have said Yaalon’s comments could haunt him dearly.

For a long time, the U.S. has thought Yaalon was a possible obstacle in reaching peace.

A Tel Aviv paper said the problem had not been what Yaalon spoke about the ongoing peach talks, but his personal attack directed at Secretary Kerry. The article said the minister made an error made by beginners, which could cost him.

Another paper said that at this time it was difficult to factor in the damage caused by the comments of Yaalon. However, they called his comments, arrogant, mocking and disgraceful.

Avigbor Lieberman, a former Foreign Minister said there was no place for personal attacks. Lieberman has returned to office since being found not guilty of corruption allegations. He has learned not to be crude towards Americans since it hurt him politically in previous situations.

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