When Hillary Clinton met Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem during her recent visit to Israel, her party was dismayed to see Uzi Arad at the next Israeli prime minister’s side. Arad’s involvement in the “AIPAC case” has resulted in him being barred from entry into the US. Joseph Fitsanakis continues the story:
As soon as Secretary Clinton and her advisers realized Arad was standing next to Netanyahu in the meeting room, they tried to discreetly avoid diplomatic complications by requesting that “only three participants from each side stay in the meeting”. It was an indirect way of requesting that Mr Arad leave the room. But the US delegation was stunned when Israel’s Prime Minister-Designate kept the former Mosad agent present, choosing instead to kick out Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Sallai Meridor. Clinton’s delegation did not say a word about the Netanyahu’s diplomatic slap-in-the-face, hoping the incident would not make headlines. Ambassador Meridor was not so sensitive about the affair. He was so put off that he announced his resignation soon afterwards.
Netanyahu’s office later explained that Arad’s presence was required in the meeting “because of the Iranian issue.”
Arad is an advocate of “maximum deterrence” towards Iran and has said Israel should threaten to strike ‘everything and anything of value.’ He has said Israel should threaten to hit the Iranian leadership and their holiest sites and that they should hit everything together. This comes from the man tipped to become Netanyahu’s national security adviser.
Arad also recently made the following remarks about the Palestinians. During an interview on Israel National News TV (Arutz Sheva is a media network based in the West Bank and is seen as the voice of the Jewish settler movement), Arad was asked whether the time has come to abandon the two-state solution. This is how he responded:
I don’t think that one has to go that far because at the end of the day, I don’t think the majority of Israelis want to see themselves responsible for the Palestinians. We do not want to control the Palestinian population. It’s unnecessary. What we do want is to care for our borders, for the Jewish settlements and for areas which are unpopulated and to have our security interests served well. But also to take under our responsibility these populations which, believe me, are not the most productive on earth, would become a burden. We want to relieve ourselves of the burden of the Palestinian populations – not territories. It is territory we want to preserve, but populations we want to rid ourselves of.