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February 3, 2014 12:16 pm

Israeli Minister of Communications: ‘Kerry Inciting Economic Blackmail Against Israel’

avatar by Gidon Ben-Zvi

Israeli Minister Gilad Erdan. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Israel’s Minister of Communications and Home Front Defense, Gilad Erdan, speaking at the Jerusalem Conference on Monday, said that it looks as if U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is, “…trying to incite economic blackmail against Israel,” Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported.

Erdan, a member of the Israeli government’s security cabinet, strongly criticized the U.S. State Department’s overall analysis of the geopolitical situation in the Middle East, Ma’ariv said. Erdan also called Kerry to task for portraying himself as being little more than a spectator of events taking place in the region, Ma’ariv said.

The Minister also called into question U.S. motives in backing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. “You would expect an honest and objective broker to turn to the Palestinian side and assert that there will be a price to pay for continuing to deny the Jewish people’s right to their own state, for continuing its policy of rejectionism and for continuing to use official [Palestinian Authority] media outlets and the education system to incite against Israel,” he said.

“We see the United States applying pressure only on Israel’s Prime Minister and his cabinet,” Erdan concluded.

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Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat opened the Conference by noting that, “Unfortunately, there is talk in the air about, God forbid, the division of Jerusalem.”

“I wish to say to you and to the world: Jerusalem is indivisible. She must remain united. Forever,” he pledged.

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