WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday called for a resumption of the Israel-Palestinian peace process, saying the talks were vital in the fight against extremism.
“It is imperative that we find a way to get back to the negotiations,” Kerry said at a State Department ceremony marking the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.
...He said the unresolved Israel-Palestinian conflict was fueling recruitment for the Islamic State jihadist group.
“There wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation,” Kerry said.
“People need to understand the connection of that. And it has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity,..”..
From Times of Israel, 17 Oct 2014:
...Writing on Facebook, [Economy Minister Naftali] Bennett, who heads the nationalist Jewish Home party, a major coalition member, linked to an article about Kerry’s remarks, commenting in Hebrew that
“Even when a British Muslim beheads a British Christian, someone will always blame the Jew.”
Likud minister Erdan, thought to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pick to become Interior Minister, also blasted Kerry on Facebook, asking sarcastically whether anybody truly believes Islamic State fighters would put down their arms if Israeli-Palestinian talks were restarted.
“I actually respect Kerry and his efforts, but every time he breaks new records of showing a lack of understanding of our region and the essence of the conflict in the Middle East I have trouble respecting what he says...”
Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked also expressed dismay over the statement.
This is not the first time Kerry has been criticized by members of Israel’s ruling coalition.
In January, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was quoted calling Kerry “inexplicably obsessive” and “messianic” in his efforts to coax the two sides into a peace agreement. Ya’alon said Kerry has “nothing to teach me about the conflict with the Palestinians.
“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....