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January 29, 2014 11:32 am

Ya’alon: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Talks a ‘Non-Issue’

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Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon. Photo: Reuven Kapuscinski. – The current U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations are a “non-issue,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday at the Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv.

“The Palestinian subject is a non-issue,” Ya’alon said. “Behind closed doors the Palestinian issue does not even come up. In public one has to pay lip service.”

“Only two weeks ago [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas said no to recognizing Israel as the Jewish nation, so what are we even talking about?” he said. “Abbas did not want negotiations then and does not want them now. He has come to the table to release [Palestinian] prisoners. We want to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority because we live side by side, and there are things we need to do together. But it looks like my generation will not see peace and quiet with the Palestinians.”

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According to Ya’alon, America “has decided to lower its profile, to be less active and less involved in the [Middle East], and now some fear Tehran more than Washington.”

“The U.S. has decided to be less involved, to stop being the world’s policeman and distance itself from areas of conflict. Look at what is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria,” Ya’alon said.

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