Daily Israel Report

John Kerry Threatens Israel With Boycotts if Talks Fail

Dept. Defense Minister responds to new boycott threats by US Sec. of State Kerry: 'Friends don't put ultimatums on Israel's security.'
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 2/1/2014, 6:51 PM

United States Secretary of State John Kerry
United States Secretary of State John Kerry
Reuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday threatened Israel that a failure in the peace talks would lead to global boycotts and delegitimization of the Jewish state. The warning comes as no surprise to those familiar with reports earlier in the month, which revealed that Kerry is orchestrating the European boycotts against Israel.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon responded to Kerry's threats of boycotts, saying "we respect Secretary of State Kerry but will not hold talks with a gun to our head. Friends don't put ultimatums on the security of the state of Israel."

Speaking at a security council in Munchen, Germany, Kerry also mentioned Defense Secretary Moshe Ya'alon's comments calling Kerry "messianic" and "obsessive" in trying to force Israel to submit to a peace deal, which would include massive territorial withdrawals and an Arab capital in Jerusalem.

"I'm a little surprised by the articles quoting statements on obsession or a fanatical effort to try and achieve peace," remarked Kerry. "We're just working hard, and I still am full of hope that our efforts will succeed and bring a peace agreement."

At the same time that he rejected accusations of "fanaticism," Kerry stated "we're working hard, because the consequences of failure are unacceptable to us." Kerry's plan reportedly includes Israeli withdrawals along the 1949 Armistice lines.

Danon declared in response "we will make decisions that guard the interests of the state of Israel. If we made choices based on the various forecasts of boycotts, we wouldn't be here today. In the past we saw that wherever the IDF wasn't present terror takes root."

Following the 2005 "Disengagement" plan that expelled all Jews from Gaza, the terror group Hamas took over the area and launched several waves of deadly attacks, resulting in two major counterterrorism operations in 2009 and 2012.

The ceasefire that was brokered by the Egyptians after the 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense was assessed as being dead by some security officials earlier this month following ongoing rocket barrages from Gaza.

This is not the first time the US Secretary of State has threatened Israeli security or interests in the event his country's "peace initiative" is not adopted by the Jewish state.

Last November, Kerry threatened that Israel would face a "Third Intifada" - or violent uprising - if talks did not end with a "Palestinian state" in Judea and Samaria.