Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ya'alon's words are not void of reality

Rabbi Eliezer Schonwald

There are those in Israel who stress out over the hysterical, enraged comments made by the U.S. State Department in response to Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon's remarks. But precisely the outrage tells me that something else is going on and that this isn't about being offended but a strategic, calculated response.
Whoever looks at Ya'alon's remarks on U.S. policy in the Middle East and particularly in Iran, does not understand what exactly upset the State Department and what so angered the Americans they demanded an explicit apology from the defense minister. After all, Ya'alon's comments perfectly reflect the State Department's policies, one by one.
If people in the State Department think there's a problem, the problem is not what Ya'alon said but with whoever formed the negligent, out-of-touch foreign policy. It seems the U.S. State Department truly believes their competent, calculated foreign policy succeeded in preventing the chaos in Egypt in recent years, succeeded in thwarting the ongoing slaughter in Syria, stopped Iran's nuclear arms race, and deterred Russia from annexing the Crimean peninsula. According to the Americans, only Ya'alon is unaware of their great success and sees it as a failure.

Even if the State Department (whether under the current or previous administrations) wanted to bring peace and prosperity in the spirit of the American democratic vision -- they prove, time and again, that they cannot form policies or lead global reforms. Yet this does diminish the department's confidence in its abilities. It is confidant it has the key to solving the Israeli-Arab conflict. Here and now. Even if that means one side is forced to conform to their plans (its no secret that usually that means Israel). After all, these are the rules of the game. Under the pretense of friendship and cooperation, Israel is expected to agree to America's demands.
Ya'alon is one of the most significant and successful professionals that has risen in the field of security. His professional analysis on security issues field have been proven to be free of an agenda, and therefore not slanted. That is why he has accurately predicted events and warned against them.
However, the State Department seems to view Ya'alon as an obstacle to forming the framework peace agreement. They fear he might reveal the flaws and dangers, hidden within the document. Perhaps the hysterical response to his comments was meant to deter him from saying what he really thinks, a kind of way to put him in line.
If that's the case, we must stand behind him and encourage him to express his professional opinion, without fear. For us, this is a life or death situation, so it is crucial we allow him to reveal the true meaning of every plan regarding our future, secretly brewing behind closed doors
The State Department should know that Israeli society stands behind its defense minister and from that perspective, we are all Bogie Ya'alon.

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