In a parliamentary system, all ministers generally speak for the coalition, even if the Prime Minister dictates policy. It is not uncommon in a parliamentary system for one minister to go out and make a pronouncement that can then be plausibly denied by the PM as “not speaking for the government.” So when Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon called John Kerry “obsessive” and “messianic” for his conduct toward negotiations between Israel and the PLO, he wasn’t speaking for the government, but in the light of recent events, it seems pretty clear that he was speaking for a majority of Israelis, a large percentage of the world Jewish community, most of our European allies, most of NATO, at least nine countries in the Arab League and probably about a dozen other countries and constituencies as well. It was intended to be a specific rebuke that Kerry and Obama are too far out front, and that they had better pull back. And yet the message is apparently going to be ignored.
If you follow global news, you’d note a growing sense of unease coming from these other constituencies arising out of two facts. First, the United States has apparently accepted that the new PLO state is not going to be pluralistic and democratic, but it will likely be poor, non-viable, authoritarian and involved in a civil war with Hamas. Second, the United States has apparently conceded that once folks living in the PLO state get passports recognized by the United States and Europe, those folks can leave and go anywhere they want, something not entirely possible now. Which creates a spectre that within a year of “statehood,” two-three million “Palestinians” taking their opportunity to flee to the European Union, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq–and essentially destabilizing much of those societies in the process. Jordan and Egypt have specifically stated that they want any agreement to “lock in place” the people of that new state, which the United States has dismissed out of hand. Leaving the remaining Arab states to realize that they are far happier with these people under Israel’s boot (with the great PR potential) than under their collective Arab noses (with the poor PR potential).
What was Yaalon telling the Obama Administration? slow it down. Who is he speaking for? pretty much the civilized world. Is Obama listening? clearly not.