U.S. defends John Kerry from criticism by Israel's defense minister
January 14th, 2014
04:14 PM ET

U.S. defends John Kerry from criticism by Israel's defense minister

By Steve Almasy

U.S. officials reacted angrily to comments attributed to Israel's defense minister criticizing Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to broker a peace agreement between Israel and Palestinians.

The derisive remarks appeared in a popular daily Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronot, and reflect Moshe Yaalon's skepticism of the Kerry-led U.S. efforts "both in private conversations in Israel and in the U.S."

"American Secretary of State John Kerry, who turned up here determined and acting out of misplaced obsession and messianic fervor, cannot teach me anything about the conflict with the Palestinians," Yaalon said, according to the paper.

The U.S. State Department fired back Tuesday. Spokeswoman Marie Harf said it was shocking that a close ally would question Kerry's motives.

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