Former MK Professor Aryeh Eldad, chairman of the Professors for a Strong Israel organization, on Sunday slammed the Yesha Council and the Jewish Home party for their “spineless behavior”.
Prof. Eldad said that both were “afraid” of standing up to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and were only attacking U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry over his threats of boycotts against Israel should peace talks fail.
He pointed out that Kerry’s threats would be meaningless if the Israeli government were to stand up to them.
"Secretary of State Kerry stopped smiling and took out the axe, not that he, G-d forbid, is threatening to boycott. He is only predicting boycotts and sanctions. A meteorologist, not a statesman,” said Eldad sarcastically. “I do not have too much criticism against him and I'm not dealing with the question of whether he is an anti-Semite or he simply doesn’t like us.”
"My problem is with the leaders of the Jewish Home, who last week organized a prayer rally and cried at the Western Wall to cancel Kerry’s decrees, as though he is the squire and we are the poor Jews in town who have nothing to do except to pray,” he added, criticizing leaders on the right for failing to direct their criticism at Netanyahu.
"Maybe they have forgotten but it is for this reason that we have established an independent state. And even if it is unpleasant and even if they threaten us with sanctions - a government with a backbone can just say no and get the U.S. Congress to stop Kerry. This is possible if we do not frighten ourselves to death," charged Eldad.
On Saturday, Kerry said that Israel could face international boycotts if it does not succeed in making peace with the Palestinian Authority (PA), part of his attempts to pressure Israeli leaders into accepting a plan for an Israel-PA agreement that would see Israeli concede most of Judea and Samaria, and split Jerusalem, putting much of the city in PA hands.
The remarks were criticized by Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett, who made clear that “a country has yet to be born that will give up its land because of economic threats, and we won't either. Only security will bring financial stability, not a terror state next to the Ben Gurion Airport."
On Sunday, Yesha Council official Adi Mintz said that Kerry’s boycott threat shows that he has bought into anti-Semitic thinking regarding Jews and Jewish motives.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to Kerry’s threat and said, "Attempts to impose a boycott on the State of Israel are immoral and unjust.”
Responding to the criticism, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki later claimed on Twitter that Kerry's “only reference to a boycott was a description undertaken by others that he has always opposed."