Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sharply criticized US Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday for threatening Israel with boycotts if peace talks fail.
"Attempts to impose a boycott on the State of Israel are immoral and unjust," Netanyahu stated, at the opening of his weekly cabinet meeting. "Moreover, they will not achieve their goal. First, they cause the Palestinians to adhere to their intransigent positions and thus push peace further away. Second, no pressure will cause me to concede the vital interests of the State of Israel, especially the security of Israel's citizens.
"For both of these reasons, threats to boycott the State of Israel will not achieve their goal," Netanyahu concluded.
Last Wednesday, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times published some details of Kerry’s plan which, he said, will call for a phased Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria based on the 1949 lines, with "unprecedented" security arrangements in the strategic Jordan Valley.
The Israeli withdrawal will not include certain settlement blocs, but Israel will compensate the Arab side for this with Israeli territory. The deal will call for “Palestine” to have a capital in Arab East Jerusalem and to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. It will not include any right of return for Palestinian refugees into pre-1967 Israel, Friedman said.
Jewish leaders later revealed that mutual recognition is another factor of the plan - with Israel recognizing a Palestinian state and the Palestinian Authority (PA) being forced to recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland - a condition the PA has already publicly refused to accept.
The public's outcry over the plan has been long and loud, with ongoing protests against the plan's preconditions - the release of 106 Palestinian Arab terrorists back into public life - and vigils, protests, and even mass prayer calls being held against Israel accepting the Kerry framework.
Outrage has intensified since the new boycott threat, the second time Kerry has been known to orchestrate boycotts against Israel - despite being an ally. 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."
"We will make decisions that guard the interests of the state of Israel," Danon continued. "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."