Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that failed Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations could lead to a third Palestinian intifada.
“The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos. I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?” Kerry said in a televised interview on Israel’s Channel 2.
Responding to Kerry, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said there is “no need to fear threats of whether there will or won’t be a third intifada.”
Daniel Pipes, president of Middle East Forum, said Kerry’s comments represent “the other shoe that’s been waiting to drop since Barack Obama’s warm visit to Israel in March 2013.”
“Even as he accepts Tehran’s fraudulent Iranian assurances concerning its nuclear buildup, Obama’s secretary of state now threatens Israel with Palestinian violence unless it bends to American demands,” Pipes told JNS.org. “The gloves are off: the American president’s-and more broadly the Democratic party’s-true attitudes toward the Jewish state are now on display. Those of us who worried about Israel policy in a second Obama term now have our fears confirmed.”
Kerry also said on Channel 2 that the U.S. agrees with the Palestinian Authority’s position on Israeli construction beyond the 1967 lines.
“[Palestinian leaders] disagreed with [Israeli construction beyond the 1967 lines]. In fact, they said, ‘We don’t agree. We do not think you should be doing settlements.’ We, the United States, say the same thing. We do not believe the settlements are legitimate. We think they’re illegitimate. And we believe that the entire peace process would in fact be easier if these settlements were not taking place,” Kerry said.
Ya’alon, however, noted that the Palestinians’ territorial ambition “does not end in 1967 lines.”
“There is Sheikh Munis-Tel Aviv, Majdal-Ashkelon. We got out of the Gaza Strip and they continue to attack us. They raise their youth to believe that Haifa and Acre are Palestinian ports and more. There is no sign of compromise here,” Ya’alon said.
Member of Knesset Yariv Levin (Likud) said Israel’s “right to build anywhere on its land cannot be questioned.”
“Given the reality in the Middle East, Secretary of State Kerry’s statements, despite their good intentions, only encourage Arab extremists and bring down the chances for peace,” Levin said, according to Israel Hayom.