Daily Israel Report

State Department: Kerry 'Frustrated' by Claims He's Anti-Israel

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Kerry has "proud record of over three decades of steadfast support for Israel’s security."
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/4/2014, 3:46 AM

Kerry at Munich Security Conference
Kerry at Munich Security Conference
Reuters

The State Department on Monday once again went out of its way to state that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is “staunchly opposed” to boycotts against Israel.

“We are absolutely opposed, we have been opposed to any attempts at boycotts – boycotting Israel,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news briefing, a day after taking to Twitter to stress that Kerry did not mean to threaten Israel when he said at the Munich Security Conference that the Jewish state will face boycotts if peace talks fail.

“Secretary Kerry himself personally has a proud record of over three decades of steadfast support for Israel’s security and well-being, including staunch opposition to boycotts,” she added.

“And just last year – and many of you were on this trip – you may remember that we were in Vilnius for a meeting of the EU foreign ministers – he made the case in that private meeting that they should refrain from implementing these types of measures,” claimed Psaki.

She also said that Kerry “has had a 100 percent voting record” in favor of Israel throughout his career in the Senate.

“There is no greater or opponent to boycotts – or proponent of Israel’s security and their future,” said Psaki, who also noted that Kerry was “frustrated” with those who attempted to paint him as anti-Israeli.

Kerry “always expects anyone, even those who are against the efforts underway moving towards a peace process, not to distort his words or his record,” she told reporters.

Kerry’s comments in Munich were blasted by many Israeli officials, such as 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."

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.”

Communications and Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan also criticized Kerry on Monday, saying he was not a fair intermediary in the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

"Currently threats are still heard against citizens of Israel and they try to terrorize us. When we hear John Kerry and the American State Department, we think they are wrong in their analysis of what's happening in the Middle East," he said, speaking at Arutz Sheva's eleventh annual Jerusalem Conference.

"It would be expected from someone who's supposed to be a fair and objective intermediary to also tell the Palestinian side about the price they will have to pay over their stubborn refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to their own nation state," remarked Erdan. "Where's the Palestinian price on all the continued incitement against Israel's existence?"