Photo: Alon Basson, Defense Ministry
Moshe Ya'alon
Photo: Alon Basson, Defense Ministry

Israeli Defense Minister claims Arab League initiative is spin

During Washington visit, Ya'alon says peace talks should resume without preconditions, initiative is another dictation. Minister adds unimpressed with Assad's victories in Syria

Washington - Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon slammed the Arab League peace initiative in his speech at the Washington Institute in the US, and called it a 'spin.'


Ya'alon claimed the initiative is a dictation, and said Israel is always willing to return to the negotiation table, barring preconditions and dictations.


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Earlier this week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the time has come to end the "squabbling over preconditions" and resume negotiations.


"I think we have to start peace talks immediately. My goal is to see a historic compromise that ends the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians once and for all," the PM stated.


Netanyahu said that such a peace entailed a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes Israel as the Jewish state and "ironclad security arrangements for Israel."


In his speech, Ya'alon said that Israel is willing to discuss everything, not only territory, without preconditions, which he claimed are delaying the talks.


Ya'alon blamed the Palestinian education establishment for the peace process impasse, and added that the conflict's heart is Palestinians' unwillingness to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.


He also suggested Israel should condition tax money transfers to the Palestinian Authority on a change to its education system.


Commenting on the Syrian civil war, Ya'alon said that despite estimations that the tide is turning in favor of Presidnet Bashar Assad, he remains unimpressed with the regime's recent military victories in Qusair, and noted that Assad controls only 40% of Syria.


Ya'alon admitted he does not think the situation will calm soon, citing the lack of unity in the opposition's ranks. He voiced his concerns that al-Qaeda is establishing footholds in Syria, Lebanon and the Sinai Peninsual, aiming to encircle Israel.


Nevertheless, Ya'alon stressed that Israel's policy remains one of non-interference.


Against the backdrop of the Iranian presidential elections, Ya'alon also hinted that the US and Israel remained at loggerheads regarding the definition of the Iranian nuclear project's "red line."



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פרסום ראשון: 06.14.13, 22:12
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