Q&A With Daniel Ayalon on Israeli Foreign Policy

Daniel Ayalon

  • Country: Israel
  • Title: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Education: Tel Aviv University, Bowling Green State University
  • Awards: Aish Hatorah’s Builder of Jerusalem Award (2008)

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GIDEON ROSE: This is Gideon Rose from Foreign Affairs, and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to interview one of the most impressive players in the diplomatic arena and a key player in recent events and future events in the Middle East and beyond.

Minister Ayalon, welcome.

DANNY AYALON: Thank you. Pleasure to be here, Gideon.

ROSE: Let’s get right to it.

It has been -- the recent flap in U.S.-Israel relations -- has been described as the most serious in decades, past even the Bush 41 flap over settlements and going back into previous decades.

What do you think caused this crisis, and how did it sort of erupt so quickly?

AYALON: Well, it was accidental. There was a glitch. We’re not proud of it, but I wouldn’t go to the extent of describing it as a real crisis. Certainly, there was a lot of misunderstanding here, but I would say now, as real allies and good friends, it’s not that there are no disputes, but I think the way we manage them is the real testament to a true friendship. I think we’re over it.

And the most important thing, even out of this, is to make sure that we know how to manage the ones down the road. Because evidently, I mean, inevitably, there are going to be some ups and downs, but we are working for the same thing, for the same goal.

ROSE: The ones down the road -- you’re referring to Iran or a Palestinian track --


ROSE: -- or a Syrian track?

AYALON: Basically, the Palestinian track. I think on Iran there is no daylight between us and the administration and certainly the United States in terms of vision and goals and even tactical issues.

On Syria, well, the jury’s still out. I believe Syria right now is really behaving very recklessly in the sense that they

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