Divide Washington not Jerusalem, says Israeli minister Regev

Ministers from the Likud party were quick to sound their criticism of John Kerry's speech regarding Israel's role in the conflict.

December 29, 2016 00:14
3 minute read.
Minister Miri Regev

Minister Miri Regev. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Likud ministers competed Wednesday in their attacks on US Secretary of State John Kerry, following his address on the future of the Middle East.

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev called for dividing Washington instead of Jerusalem. She said Kerry gave terrorists hope that they can destroy Israel in stages.

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“Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital for 3,000 years, and it will remain Israel’s capital for 3,000 more years and forever,” she said.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called Kerry’s speech pathetic.

“It is unfortunate that the Obama administration, which has been mistaken over the course of its eight years in power in the steps it has taken in the Middle East, is trying to continue the chaos after it goes,” Erdan said. “This speech will ensure that the Palestinians make no concessions for years to come. It distances an end to the conflict.”

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz termed the speech both unethical and unrealistic.

“Kerry blames both the Israelis and Palestinians for the failure of the peace process, but takes steps that harm only the Israeli side,” he said. “It is a fantasy that Israel could withdraw to pre-1967 borders and rely on help to defend itself from the likes of Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Kerry’s proposal is disconnected from reality and cannot be implemented.

“Similar ideas were tried for 25 years and instead of peace we received terrorism,” she said. “The people of Israel will not give its land for a terrorist state.”

On the Left, MK Hilik Bar, chairman of the Knesset’s two-state solution caucus, said Kerry’s speech presented Israel with its rough reflection and actually said what many other leaders have been saying all along.

“The sole solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is also a clear Israeli interest, is the two-state solution, with two nation states for two peoples,” Bar said.

“Netanyahu’s government claims to support the two-state solution, but practically gives in to the radical right wing, leading us to a bi-national state that will be non-democratic and definitely non-Jewish, and will bring to the end of the Zionist dream and our ability to live here in a sane, successful, safe country with acknowledged and secured borders.”

Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon criticized Netanyahu’s handling of the United Nations Security Council resolution aftermath on Wednesday during a speech at a conference organized by the economic newspaper Calcalist.

“Following the shameful decision of the Security Council, and America’s deviation from its strong bond with Israel, both of which are worrisome, diplomatic maneuvering is required and not losing one’s head and harming our own international relations with empty words of national pride,” Ya’alon said. “We must speak to our friends around the world even when we disagree with them, and even when we’re angry, and not boycott or punish them, which is kicking in our own goal. I have no doubt that more responsible leadership could have prevented [the resolution].”

Oded Revivi, chief foreign envoy of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, issued a scathing assessment of John Kerry and his abilities: “John Kerry is a stain on American foreign policy.

He has chosen to eternalize his legacy as the worst secretary of state in history. He chose to stab his closest ally in the back while rivers of blood flowed like water across the Middle East. I can personally attest to the fact that he knows very little about the realities in Judea and Samaria and instead chooses to defame us from afar by repeating fictitious mantras against us.”

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