TEL AVIV – Former secretary of state John Kerry accused Israel of not wanting peace and added that the Palestinians have been “extraordinary” in their commitment to nonviolence, but the Jewish state will face another bout of attacks if there is no progress in negotiations.
Kerry’s remarks were made at a conference in Dubai earlier this year and the recordings were published Tuesday by Israel’s Channel 10. The conference was attended by Arab lawmakers from all over the region including Israel’s Joint (Arab) List chief Ayman Odeh.
In the recordings, the former top diplomat can be heard – without a trace of irony – saying that the Palestinian Authority’s dedication to nonviolence was manifest during the 2015 wave of violence known as the knife intifada when stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks took place on a weekly basis.
“The Palestinians have done an extraordinary job of remaining committed to nonviolence. And in fact when the [knife] intifada took place they delivered nonviolence in the West Bank,” Kerry is heard saying in the recording.
The claim that the Palestinians been committed to nonviolence is contradicted by fact. The Palestinians have launched three deadly intifadas that included hundreds of suicide attacks, bombings and so-called “lone-wolf” terrorism. The Palestinian Authority and its chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party have routinely glorified attacks against Israelis, not to mention the PA’s ongoing pay-for-slay campaign in which terrorists and their families receive monthly stipends whose dollar total correlates with the amount of casualties in a particular attack.
Kerry blamed Israel – which has offered the Palestinians a state on numerous occasions only to be repeatedly rejected – for what he claimed was a tendency of Israeli citizens not to recognize the Palestinians’ alleged commitment to nonviolence. A commitment that was yet again contradicted by the PA forming a unity government with the Hamas terrorist organization.
“This is overlooked by the general [Israeli] population because it is not a topic of discussion. Why? Because the majority of the cabinet currently in the current Israeli government has publicly declared they are not ever for a Palestinian state,” he said.
Kerry then went on to warn that Israel’s resistance could push the Palestinians to a boiling point and violence could erupt.
“If you see 40,000 kids marching up to the wall everyday with signs saying ‘give us our rights,’ I mean, I don’t think Palestine is going to be immune forever to the civil rights movements that have swept other nations in the world,” he said, referring to Israel’s security barrier.
Israel, he said, was ignoring the threat. “That is not leadership.”
“If you don’t have leaders who don’t want to make peace, if the equation doesn’t change, I’ll be amazed if within the next 10 years if we don’t see some young [Palestinian] leader come along who says we have tried nonviolence for the last 30 years and look, it hasn’t gotten us anything,” he added.
Kerry failed to note that the very notion of a so-called peace partner resorting to violence if talks fail seems to contradict his description of the PA as committed to nonviolence.
The Prime Minister’s Office responded to the recordings by saying that Netanyahu would continue to ensure that Israel’s security needs came first and would not heed pressure exerted by “those who tried to prod [Israel] to make dangerous concessions and failed.”
The statement sent to Channel 10 added that the deadlock in negotiations was the result of the Palestinians “refusal to recognize Israel within any borders.”
“It is unfortunate John Kerry still doesn’t get this,” the PMO said.