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December 7, 2015 1:52 pm

Israeli Defense Minister: US ‘Can’t Sit on Fence’ in Mideast; Must Take Lead

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Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said the US should lead and be more involved in the fight against ISIS. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the US should lead and be more involved in the fight against ISIS. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO.

JNS.org – America “can’t sit on the fence with regard to the Middle East” and the Islamic State terror group, and “should lead and be more involved,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Friday at the Saban Forum in Washington, DC.

“Unfortunately in the current situation Russia is playing the most significant role, then the United States,” Ya’alon said. “We don’t like the fact that King Abdullah of Jordan is going to Moscow. Egyptians are going to Moscow. The Saudis are going to Moscow. This should have been very different. This is a global challenge [and] I believe the United States should be the leader of the Western world in order to meet this challenge. If you sit on the fence the vacuum is filled and Syria is an example, whether by Iran or the Shi’a axes supported now by Russia, or by ISIS.”

While it is desirable “to avoid Western boots on the ground on one hand,” it isn’t possible to defeat Islamic State “without boots on the ground,” added Ya’alon. The Obama administration has so far refused to send group troops to fight Islamic State.

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