John Kerry
John Kerry Reuters

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry claimed that the Israeli government does not want peace with the Palestinian Authority (PA), Channel 10 News reported on Tuesday.

Kerry made the comments in a recent conference in Dubai, attended by Joint List chairman MK Ayman Odeh as well as by opposition leader MK Yitzhak Herzog (Joint List) who attended via video conference. Channel 10 News obtained recordings of Kerry's speech from the closed conference.

“King Abdullah of Jordan accepted the idea of having Israeli troops at an airport in Jordan. We'd even have predeployment of weapons in the West Bank in the event there was an existential threat to Israel that they would have to respond to. This would have been the most secure border in the world,” said Kerry of the peace proposal he made during the talks he led in 2014, and which failed when the PA unilaterally applied to join international organizations in breach of the conditions of the talks.

The former Secretary of State further hailed PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, claiming that “the Palestinians have done an extraordinary job of remaining committed to nonviolence”.

His comments on the Israeli government were not so kind, however, as he charged, “The majority of the Cabinet currently, in the current Israeli government, has publicly declared they are not – ever – [in favor of] a Palestinian state.”

“I don't think Palestine is going to be immune forever to civil rights movements that have swept other nations of the world. And somehow Israel is ignoring this today. That's not leadership,” he continued.

“If you don't have leaders who want to make peace,” warned Kerry, “if the equation doesn't change, I'll be amazed if within the next ten years we don't see some young leader come along who says, 'We've tried nonviolence for the last 30 years and it hasn't gotten us anything.'”

The Prime Minister's Office responded to the report and said, "Prime Minister Netanyahu will continue to take a firm stance on the security and national interests of the State of Israel, even if those who tried to push him into making dangerous concessions and failed don't like it."

“The reason why there is no peace is first and foremost the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel at any borders. Even now they are suing the British government over the Balfour Declaration. It's unfortunate that John Kerry has not yet understood this,” the statement added.

Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon responded to Kerry's comments on Twitter.

"What I think about John Kerry, his political initiative and his 'security plan' has already been leaked by a journalist,” he wrote, referring to comments he made which were leaked in 2014 and in which he described Kerry as "obsessive and messianic" in his quest to force a peace deal.

“To blame the Israeli government for torpedoing the process, when Abbas never even entered negotiations and slammed the door in Kerry and Obama's face - that's a damaging distortion of the facts!" he added.

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