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June 17, 2013 12:03 am

Ya’alon, in Washington, Says Arab Peace Initiative is ‘Spin’

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Israel Defense Minister Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon. Photo: Reuven Kapuscinski.

JNS.org The Arab Peace Initiative, promoted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in his efforts to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, is nothing but “spin” that is designed to have Israel commit to certain conditions even before negotiations commence, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Friday in a speech before the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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Ya’alon said the Arab Peace Initiative was “not a decision of the Arab League,” and reiterated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that Israeli is “ready to sit without preconditions with any initiative but without dictation.”

The initiative effectively says, “First you have to give up territory—and then we the Arabs will consider relations with you,” according to Ya’alon.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Kerry thinks the Arab Peace initiative is “significant” because it “shows a unity among several Arab nations, that they support an effort to move towards a peace plan and that they would support that if it were to be completed.”

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  • Barbara Walker

    Defense Minister Ya’alon does recognize, I hope, that the territory to which he refers is illegally occupied by Israeli settlers.

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