Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 | Posted by WorldTribune.com
Kerry threatens Israel with international boycott
Special to WorldTribune.com
WASHINGTON — The United States has raised the prospect of an international boycott of Israel.
The administration of President Barack Obama has warned that Israel would be de-legitimized should the United States fail to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. /AFP/Getty Images/David Bebber
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. /AFP/Getty/David Bebber
A senior official rejected Israeli criticism of heavy pressure by Washington to achieve this goal in 2014.
“For Israel there’s an increasing de-legitimization campaign that has been building up,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said. “People are very sensitive to it. There is talk of boycotts and other kinds of things. Are we all going to be better with all of that?”
This marked the first open threat by a senior U.S. official against Israel amid Washington’s efforts to reach an agreement for a Palestinian state by April 2014. In contrast to the threat against Israel, Kerry praised the Palestinian Authority, particularly its chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whom the secretary deemed “committed to a peaceful process for these last years.”
In an address to the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 1, Kerry warned that Israel’s economy could not be sustained without an agreement with the PA. The secretary dismissed Israel’s economic growth as well as the sharp drop in Palestinian attacks in 2013.
“There’s a momentary prosperity,” Kerry said. “There’s a momentary
peace. Last year, not one Israeli was killed by a Palestinian from the West
Bank. This year, unfortunately, there’s been an uptick in some violence. But
the fact is the status quo will change if there is failure. So everybody has
a stake in trying to find the pathway to success.”
Officials said Kerry was setting the stage for an intensive effort to
pressure Israel to agree to a U.S. draft for an interim Palestinian state
that would eventually include the entire West Bank and Jerusalem. During his
address, the secretary rejected reported criticism by Israeli Defense
Minister Moshe Ya’alon that Kerry was seeking to win a Noble Peace Prize.
“I’m a little surprised by some of the articles that tend to write about
an obsession or a fanatical effort to try to achieve this, et cetera,” Kerry
said. “We’re just working hard. We’re working hard because the consequences
of failure are unacceptable.”
Another senior administration official agreed. Defense Secretary Chuck
Hagel told the conference that Washington required the cooperation of the
European Union to address strategic issues, including the
“First, I enthusiastically support what Secretary Kerry is doing,” Hagel
said. “We all know there is risk in everything. There is risk in status quo.
The risk is always there in anything in complicated areas of the world. But
I believe there is far more risk in letting this slide.”
Within hours, Israel responded to Kerry’s speech. Israeli officials
agreed that the address reflected a U.S. ultimatum that Washington would
allow the EU to launch a boycott of the Jewish state.
“We respect the secretary of state but we will not negotiate with a gun
put to our head,” Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said.http://www.worldtribune.com/2014/02/02/kerry-threatens-israel-with-international-boycott/