Bayit Yehudi MK Motti Yogev (left) and Dep. Min. Eli Ben-Dahan (right) praying against Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at the Western Wall, January 30, 2014..
(photo credit: JEREMY SHARON)
The Ant-Defamation League, one of American Jewry's most influential organizations, condemned an Israeli parliamentarian on Saturday who intimated that US Secretary of State John Kerry's peace policies are motivated by anti-Semitism.
Bayit Yehudi MK Motti Yogev told Israel Radio on Thursday that Kerry is not a fair mediator in peace talks because he has "anti-Israel roots."
"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is acting under Kerry's obsessive pressure, which may have anti-Semitic undertones," Yogev told Israel Radio. "Kerry is not here to reach a compromise. He wants to decrease the Jewish presence in the Land of Israel and create a Palestinian state."
The ADL demanded that Yogev apologize to Kerry for his "disparaging comments" and accusations that were “offensive, inflammatory and totally without any basis.”
"In this period of intense US-led negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, it is understandable that political tensions would arise regarding the implications for Israel of a future agreement," ADL national director Abe Foxman wrote to Yogev. "Yet while you and other members of the Israeli government and Knesset may disagree – even strongly object – to the initiatives of the US and Secretary Kerry, it is beyond the bounds of legitimate critique to disparage the intent of the Secretary’s intensive commitment to and investment in the negotiations, and simply indefensible to accuse him of harboring anti-Jewish beliefs."
According to Yogev, most senior Likud officials agree with him.
The Bayit Yehudi MK also pointed out that Kerry ate hummus with Syrian President Bashar Assad in the past and called him a good friend.
At the same time, Yogev said that the US is a "strategic anchor" and is important to Israeli security.
This is not the first time Yogev personally attacked Kerry. In November
he said the Secretary of State's stances are identical to those of the Palestinian Authority and proclaimed: "Kerry, go home."