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US furious with Israeli defense minister comments, Kerry calls Netanyahu to protest

The Obama administration is venting its anger at insults and criticism of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry by Israel's defense minister.

The State Department said Kerry called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) on Wednesday to protest recent remarks by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon (MOH'-shuh YAH'-uh-lohn). He had accused Obama administration of being weak on Iran and questioned its commitment to Israel's security.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki (SAH'-kee) said the remarks were "not constructive" and "inconsistent" with the close relationship between the U.S. and Israel. She declined to characterize Netanyahu's response.

In remarks quoted in Israeli reports on Tuesday, Yaalon criticized the U.S. for not leading a campaign against Iran. He has been quoted as saying Kerry is "obsessive" and "messianic" about Middle East peace.

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