Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple denies security breach in celebrity photo leak

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Apparent beheading of Steven Sotloff sees more calls for #IsisMediaBlackout

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Lesotho Coup: Exiled Prime Minister vows to return home after fleeing

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors? (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

    Read more

  • Obama orders 350 more US troops to Baghdad

    Read more

  • France’s former first lady lifts lid on 'cold' Hollande

    Read more

  • French mum reunited with daughter 'kidnapped by jihadist father'

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces advance on IS as protesters storm parliament

    Read more

  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

Middle east

US, Israel in spat over Kerry's 'boycott' remarks

© AFP

Text by HAARETZ

Latest update : 2014-02-03

Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have slammed remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel faced a higher risk of boycott if the peace process with Palestinians failed.

The U.S. State Department on Sunday responded harshly to criticism from senior Israeli officials over Secretary of State John Kerry's implications that Israel would face increased boycotts should peace talks fail.

"Secretary Kerry has a proud record of over three decades of steadfast support for Israel's security and well-being, including staunch opposition to boycotts," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

"Just last year, while briefing Foreign Ministers at an EU conference in Vilnius on his peacemaking efforts, he urged them to refrain from implementing these types of measures," Psaki said.

Kerry, at a Munich security forum on Saturday, mentioned "talk of boycotts" if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict did not end.

"Are we all going to be better with all of that?" asked Kerry, who is seeking to seal a framework agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

"For Israel, the stakes are also enormously high," he said. "Do they want a failure that then begs whatever may come in the form of a response from disappointed Palestinians and the Arab community?"

Kerry's remarks elicited strong reactions from senior Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, among others.

Netanyahu on Sunday rejected Kerry's warnings regarding the danger of the boycott movement gaining strength against Israel.

"The attempts to boycott Israel are unethical and unjustified," Netanyahu said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. "Moreover, they won't achieve their goal."

The State Department's Psaki, however, defended Kerry's comments from Saturday, saying, "He spoke forcefully in defense of Israel's interests, as he consistently has throughout his public life."

She went on to say that Kerry, in response to a question about the peace process, "described some well-known and previously stated facts about what is at stake for both sides if this process fails, including the consequences for the Palestinians. His only reference to a boycott was a description of actions undertaken by others that he has always opposed."

Psaki said Kerry has always "expected opposition and difficult moments in the process, but he also expects all parties to accurately portray his record and statements."

Bennett, meanwhile, said that Israel expects its friends around the world "to stand beside us, against anti-Semitic boycott efforts targeting Israel, and not for them to be their amplifier."

Bennett's remarks were followed Sunday by comments from Steinitz.

"The things ... Kerry said are hurtful, they are unfair and they are intolerable," Steinitz said.

"Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with a gun to its head when we are discussing the matters which are most critical to our national interests."

Click here to read the article by Barak Ravid on the Haaretz website.

© Read premium content from leading Israeli daily Haaretz on FRANCE 24

Date created : 2014-02-02

COMMENT(S)