Leader of left accuses Kerry of major mistakes in peace process

Meretz chief Gal-On criticizes Kerry for enabling reservations to his peace framework, accuses US of surrendering to rejectionists on both sides.

February 9, 2014 22:55
1 minute read.
Zehava Gal-On at Meretz primaries.

Zehava Gal-On 370. (photo credit: Courtesy Meretz)


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US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been attacked repeatedly by Likud and Bayit Yehudi ministers on the Right, faced his first criticism from the Israeli Left Sunday when Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On accused him of making major mistakes in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Gal-On joined right-wing ministers Moshe Ya'alon, Yuval Steinitz, Gilad Erdan, Naftali Bennett, and Uri Ariel, as well as the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, in slamming Kerry.

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She focused her criticism on a decision by Kerry to enable both the Israeli and Palestinian sides to express reservations to the framework he intends to present.

"I think the US is surrendering to rejectionists on both sides by letting them express reservations," Gal-On said. "A framework with reservations is a farce. It will allow everything the Americans did so far to fall by the wayside, while both sides stall without paying a political price."

Gal-On said Kerry "has good intentions" and has used the proper resources to advance the diplomatic process. She expressed sympathy for the criticism he has faced from both the Israeli Right and the Palestinians but did not refrain from expressing her own frustration with him, even on personal terms.

"Everyone who comes thinks he invented the wheel," Gal-On said. "I'm not looking to attack the Americans. I respect them, but their policies are incorrect."

Gal-On called on Kerry to put more pressure on both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

"Instead of forcing the Israelis and the Palestinians to make a decision and really obligate themselves, even at the cost of changing their governments, Kerry is giving Netanyahu and Abbas the ultimate excuse to continue dragging their feet," she said.

"Virtual negotiations will not lead to an agreement for two peoples, only to political survival at the expense of our future."

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