Netanyahu Responds to Kerry: Israelis Don’t Need to Be Lectured On Importance of Peace by Foreign Leaders
US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Wednesday speech on the Israel-Palestinian peace process was “almost as unbalanced as the anti-Israel resolution passed at the UN last week,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Speaking in Jerusalem less than two hours after Kerry concluded his remarks, Netanyahu stated, “I must express my deep disappointment with the speech…What [Kerry] did was spend most of his speech blaming Israel for the lack of peace by passionately condemning a policy of enabling Jews to live in their historic homeland and in their eternal capital, Jerusalem.”
“The Jewish people have sought their place under the sun for 3,000 years and they’re not about to be swayed by mistaken policies that have caused great, great damage,” Netanyahu declared. “Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders. Israel’s hand has been extended in peace from…its very first day. We pray for peace and we’ve worked for it every day since then.”
“No one wants peace more than the people of Israel,” Netanyahu continued. “Israel remains committed to resolving the outstanding differences between us and the Palestinians through direct negotiations.”
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said in a statement after Kerry’s address, “Neither speeches nor statements will bring peace to our region. The only way forward is for the Palestinians to understand that they must condemn terror, end incitement and return to the negotiating table.”
Furthermore, Danon noted, “To coordinate anti-Israeli initiatives with the Palestinians at the UN and to advance a one-sided resolution against Israel in the Security Council is the opposite of supporting Israel. The Obama administration acted against Israel at the UN and any claim to the contrary is a distortion of reality.”
Habayit Heyehudi leader and Education Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted, “Kerry — good intentions but policy divorced from reality: Left Mideast in flames, Syrian genocide, Iran racing to bomb, Israel abandoned.”
Kerry–good intentions but policy divorced from reality:
Left Mideast in flames, Syrian genocide, Iran racing to bomb, Israel abandoned.
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) December 28, 2016
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said, “It is clear to all right-minded people that the outgoing secretary of state’s ideas are not at all connected to reality.”
On the other hand, Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog — Israel’s opposition chief — called Kerry “a great friend” of the Jewish state whose speech expressed “true concerns” about the country’s “wellbeing and future.”
John Kerry has always been a great friend of Israel and will always be. His speech expresses true concerns about Israels wellbeing & future.
— יצחק הרצוג (@HerzogMK) December 28, 2016