Shapiro: Destructive attempts made to distort Kerry's record on peace process

US ambassador to Israel defends US secretary of state in light of criticism from Israeli Right over Mideast peace diplomacy.

February 7, 2014 09:48
1 minute read.
Dan Shapiro

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and US Secretary of State John Kerry.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro defended on Friday US Secretary of John Kerry in light of recent harsh criticism by right-wing Israeli officials over the top US diplomat's handling of the Middle East peace process.

"There were attempts to distort the record of John Kerry," Shapiro told Army Radio.

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The US envoy said critics had misconstrued Kerry's remarks on the possible outcome of failed Israeli-Palestinian talks that could harm efforts to establish peace.

"Almost everyday there were voice accusing him of supporting boycotts and even anti-Semitism - these things are destructive and certainly a distortion of reality," he said.

Kerry garnered sharp criticism sparking an Israeli-US row over his reference to possible boycotts of Israel is the ongoing peace talks with the Palestinians break down.

At a speech in Munich on Saturday, Kerry discussed possible scenarios if the negotiations with the PLO fail, he said there was talk of boycotts.

In response, various US officials have lambasted the criticism and stressed that he is committed to the process and to Israel.

The State Department issued a statement Sunday imploring Kerry’s critics not to distort his words.

“Secretary Kerry has a proud record of over three decades of steadfast support for Israel’s security and well-being, including staunch opposition to boycotts,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki wrote.

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Kerry appeared to allude to his military service during the Vietnam War as he downplayed the criticism.

"I've been attacked before by people using real bullets, not words. And I am not going to be intimidated," Kerry told CNN's Jake Tapper.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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