by Israel Hayom Staff
"The Palestinians did wonderful work and remained committed to nonviolence," John Kerry says in audio recording • Prime Minister's Office: It is regrettable that Kerry still does not understand that the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel inside any borders.
Former U.S. Secretary of State John KerryPhoto: Reuters
Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who attempted to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in 2014, said in an audio recording obtained by Channel 10 News and aired on Tuesday that "Israel doesn't have leaders who want to make peace."
Kerry's comments were reportedly made several days ago at a closed conference in Dubai. Joint Arab List Chairman MK Ayman Odeh attended the conference, while Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog was linked in via video feed.
"If this doesn't change, I'll be surprised if a new and young Palestinian leader doesn't emerge within the next 10 years and says: 'We tried nonviolence for 30 years and it didn't get us anywhere," Kerry was heard saying.
In the recording, Kerry said he believes "Palestine won't be immune forever" to human rights movements that forced a change in other countries.
"For some reason, Israel ignores this. That is not leadership," Kerry reportedly said.
He also said that in the last Israeli general elections, Herzog had represented an alternative option and that "you need to want to make peace." He named former prime ministers Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres as leaders who tried forging a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Kerry said his mediation efforts failed because of Israel and that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was a viable partner for a peace deal.
"The Palestinians did wonderful work and remained committed to nonviolence. Essentially, when the intifada erupted, they did not use violence in the West Bank. The [Israeli] public ignored this. It didn't talk about it. Why? Because most of the cabinet ministers in the current Israeli government publicly declared that they will never support a Palestinian state," Kerry was recorded as saying.
In response, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will continue to stand steadfast on behalf of Israel's national and security interests, even if this isn't viewed favorably by the person who tried and failed to push him toward dangerous concessions.
"The reason there is no peace is first and foremost the Palestinians' refusal to recognize Israel inside any borders. They are even condemning the British government right now for the Balfour Declaration. It is regrettable that John Kerry still does not understand that."
Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon posted on Twitter, saying, "To blame the Israeli government for torpedoing the [diplomatic] process, when [Abbas] never even entered negotiations and slammed the door in the face of Kerry and [then-President Barack] Obama is a harmful distortion of the facts."
Israel Hayom Staff
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