Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Israel | Iran | Obama in the Mideast | Rick Santorum | John Kerry | Moshe Yaalon

Santorum: Israeli Minister Wrong to Say Kerry 'Obsessed' With Peace

Tuesday, 14 Jan 2014 05:47 PM


Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon was wrong to say Secretary of State John Kerry has a messianic "obsession" with Middle East peace, and should apologize, Rick Santorum says.

"Even though I'm not a fan of John Kerry and I don't like the way he's operating, I'm not crazy about calling our secretary of state that, and that's something he probably should apologize for — for the type of language that he used," Santorum told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"But the substance of the language is pretty close to being accurate. The fact is that whether it's the Palestinians or, even more disconcerting in my mind, the Iranians, we have a secretary of state and the president who are absolutely fixated on getting a deal," Santorum said Tuesday.

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Ya'alon's office on Tuesday issued a statement, saying:

"Israel and the United States share a common goal to advance the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, led by Secretary Kerry. We appreciate Secretary Kerry's many efforts towards that end. The defense minister had no intention to cause any offense to the secretary, and he apologizes if the secretary was offended by words attributed to the minister."

Santorum says he understands Israel's concerns.

"Irrespective of what that deal is, whether it, in the long term, is going to provide for the security of Israel and the security of our country, I understand the passion, I understand how betrayed they feel by this administration, so I can understand that language," Santorum said.

"When you're in government, you've got to probably bite your tongue a little bit more."


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