The White House followed the State Department Tuesday in rapping private remarks made by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon calling Secretary of State John Kerry “obsessive” and “messianic,” that were quoted by a Tel Aviv tabloid. Tuesday night, the minister voiced appreciation for Kerry’s great efforts to promote Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. “I had no intention of offending the Secretary of State and if he took offensive, I apologize,” he said.
Ya’alon issued this statement after Washington said it was not satisfied by his first response, which was: “Relations between the US and Israel are intimate and hugely significant for us. The US is our greatest friend and most important ally.” He added: “When there are differences, we iron them out inside the room and that also goes for Secretary Kerry.”