Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – and not US Secretary of State John Kerry – is to blame for Kerry’s failure to reach a breakthrough in his talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders over the weekend, MKs on the Left said Sunday.

Meretz leader Zehava Gal- On said the Americans cannot force Netanyahu to do what is in Israel’s best interest.

“Netanyahu did not handle the situation smartly,” she said. “He insists on holding a ticking time bomb in his hands instead of dismantling it. The fact that people like [Deputy Defense Minister Danny] Danon are rejoicing should worry every sane Israeli who is concerned about the country’s future.”

Labor faction chairman Isaac Herzog said Netanyahu must come to the Knesset to explain why Kerry left without a breakthrough.

He said the prime minister needed to tell the public what concrete steps he is willing to make to bridge the gaps and start direct talks with the Palestinians.

“The prime minister cannot give up,” Herzog said.

“If more effort is needed, he should do it. It is tough but it is doable.”

But politicians on the Right agreed with Kerry’s statements that significant progress was made in his talks with Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

They said they were concerned that Kerry had succeeded too much.

“I am very worried that Kerry is not a fisherman who gives up when he does not catch a fish,” Likud MK Moshe Feiglin said. “What Netanyahu is working on with Kerry is a lot more cooked than it appears. He would not make such an effort over nothing. I am very worried, because we know what similar efforts led to in the past.

Netanyahu is going to give in to the Americans so he can tell Israelis that the US will protect them on Iran.”

Former Likud deputy minister Ayoub Kara, who ran for the chairmanship of the party’s law committee on Sunday, said he expected Kerry to fail because of the Palestinians.

“Before they go on adventures, they should check whether there is a real partner on the other side,” Kara said. “Even if Netanyahu will give them 100%, [the Palestinians] still won’t have leadership to implement whatever they sign.”

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