Member of Israel’s Knesset, Miri Regev (Likud), sent a letter of support to embattled Israeli Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon on Wednesday, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported.
Ya’alon ignited a firestorm on Tuesday when he referred to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in private conversations as “obsessive” and “messianic.”
“I want to commend you for your brave and correct words with regards to the Israeli – Palestinian (Authority) negotiations, focusing on the involvement of the Secretary of State, John Kerry,” MK Regev wrote. ”Your words have exposed the secret, while demonstrating social responsibility and leadership while many others have chosen to remain silent. You simply said what many others have been saying in private. While you have acted in a determined yet rational manner, your unique form of expressing yourself has provoked strong criticism, both inside of Israel and overseas.”
Regev’s letter goes on to invoke Ya’alon’s formidable military background, noting that, “Only you, who has served as the Head of Military Intelligence [Aman], Head of Central Command and Chief of the General Staff appreciates the significance of John Kerry’s proposal. While only time can be the true judge of [the wisdom of] your words, I encourage you to stay strong and keep firmly to your chosen path.”
A copy of the letter was sent to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ma’ariv said.
Yesterday, the U.S. demanded that Israel apologize for Ya’alon’s remarks. In response, Ya’alon’s office issued the following statement: “We appreciate the efforts of John Kerry in promoting peace negotiations. The defense minister did not intend to offend the Secretary of State, and apologizes if he did do.”
It is currently unclear as to whether Ya’alon’s apology has gone far enough to satisfy Washington, Ma’ariv said.