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Published On: Mon, Mar 17th, 2014

John Kerry criticized for Israel, Palestine comments, ‘once again pressures wrong side’

US Secretary of State John Kerry is being criticized for his recent comments suggesting Israel that the Palestinians officially recognize their country as a Jewish state is a mistake. Criticisms of the remarks have escalated on Sunday, noting Kerry appears to be focused on the wrong group when calling for compromise.

State Dept photo John Kerry and Benjamin Netanyahu, April 2013

State Dept photo John Kerry and Benjamin Netanyahu, April 2013

“I think it’s a mistake for some people to be, you know, raising it again and again as the critical decider of their attitude towards the possibility of a state and peace, and we’ve obviously made that clear,” Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday in an apparent critique of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for whom the recognition is a key issue in negotiations.

Communications Minister Gilad Erdan called the timing of Kerry’s remarks before President Barack Obama’s meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas this coming week unfortunate.

“It is unfortunate that ahead of the Abbas-Obama meeting, Kerry makes a mistake and once again pressures the wrong side,” Erdan said.

“The Secretary of State should ask Abbas why he refuses to recognize the Jewish state. It is obvious that reason is that the Palestinians want to bring up more demands in the future, even if an agreement is signed, and are not interested in ending the conflict,” he added.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon also took issue with Kerry’s assessment that Israel was mistaken in insisting its Jewish character be recognized.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 News that aired on Saturday, Ya’alon said that the refusal of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to recognize Israel as a Jewish state would make a final status peace deal impossible.

Netanyahu has insisted that the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel as the Jewish state before any peace deal can be signed, but Abbas has said he would refuse to do so.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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