After Ynet learns White House officials prevented defense minister from meeting Kerry and Biden, Lapid says ‘We need to act with more respect. We must remember that US funds and technology helped Gaza operation.’
“There is a crisis with the Americans and it needs to be addressed as a crisis,” Finance Minister Yair Lapid said Saturday after ongoing tensions between Washington and Jerusalem led US officials to block Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon from meeting with senior administration officials during his current US visit.
“We mustn’t pretend there isn’t a crisis,” Lapid told a crowd in Tel Aviv Saturday. “Our relations with the US are vital and everything that can be done must be done to end this crisis.”
Earlier on Friday, Ynet revealed that the Obama administration refused the Israeli defense minister’s request to meet with other top officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and the National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
Since then, reports have said the same officials tried to prevent Ya’alon from meeting with the US’ UN ambassador Samantha Power – and when the two did meet, Ya’alon reportedly heard mostly of Power’s objection to settlement construction.
During the last bout of US-led peace talks, Ya’alon dubbed Kerry’s diplomatic efforts “obsessive and messianic,” saying “Kerry should win his Nobel and leave us in peace.” Ya’alon’s current treatment is said to be an attempt to settle the score.
Ya’alon did hold a successful meeting with his US counterpart, Chuck Hegal, indicating that the reason for the cold shoulder was more a testament to personal tensions between Ya’alon and the White House than an attempt to sabotage Israel’s relations with the US.
Full article: Lapid: Israel-US relations in ‘crisis’ (ynetnews)