Israeli Defense Minister: Palestinian State Not Happening in My Lifetime

Yaalon (Getty)
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Israeli defense minister Moshe ‘Bogey’ Ya’alon told a conference Tuesday that there will be no Palestinian state in his lifetime, given the refusal of Palestinian leaders to make a deal. The best-case scenario, he said, would be to manage the conflict in its present form–not to force drastic concessions towards “impossible goals that could cause instability.”

The speech, reported by the Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post, was delivered at the annual Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya conference. Ya’alon appeared to be responding to recent remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama, in which he told Israelis that their government needed to do more to achieve a two-state solution with the Palestinian leadership.

Ya’alon’s response was typically skeptical:”Some say not in the next year, some say not during their term, but I, to my dismay, with my vast experience….I do not see a stable settlement during the period of my life, and I plan to live a bit more.” Last year, Ya’alon criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for pursuing a “messianic” approach to a Palestinian state.

The Israeli defense minister is well-known for his cautious, long-term approach to regional affairs. He criticizes what he calls the West’s obsession with “solutions” to intractable problems, and prefers to focus on managing complex strategic situations. He has stressed the danger of a nuclear Iran over other regional threats to international security and to Israel.