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More broadly speaking, asked whether the West “just doesn’t get it” in the Middle East, Ya’alon listed what he said were the misconceptions, misunderstandings, naivete, wishful thinking and ignorance that left the West thinking erroneously, “We the Westerners know what is good for the Arabs.” The product of this kind of mindset, which had falsely contended that mere elections in the region would yield democratization, Ya’alon said bitterly, “is collapsing in front of us.”
Asked directly if this was “why you said Secretary Kerry should just get a Nobel Prize and go home? Do you think the West just doesn’t get it?” Ya’alon replied: “I spoke about misconceptions. It is a misunderstanding, without naming anyone. It might be naivete or wishful thinking — ‘We the Westerners know what is good for the Arabs.’ To believe that you can have democratization with elections . . . it is collapsing in front of us. And part of it is ignorance, yes.”
Meeting with Hagel allowed to go ahead so as not to harm defense ties, US officials quoted saying
The White House and State Department declined to comment on internal deliberations about who Ya’alon should see. At the State Department, spokeswoman Jen Psaki noted that the Ya’alon’s meeting with his counterpart Hagel was “a natural, standard procedure.”
“All that can ‘save us’ is for John Kerry to win a Nobel Prize and leave us in peace,” Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted him saying at the time.
Ya’alon also discussed Iran’s nuclear program, and the deal that may be taking shape ostensibly to rein it in. “The framework of this deal is about how many centrifuges should this regime have,” Ya’alon carped. “Why should they have the indigenous capability to enrich uranium?
‘We will keep this regime from having a bomb for a year or year and a half’ — what does that mean?”