Lieberman on Kerry: "We shouldn't take friends and turn them into enemies"
Israel's right-wing Foreign Minister told his coalition partners Sunday that their "snipes at the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's peace efforts [risks] estranging 'a true friend,'" according to Agence France Presse.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told his party coalition counterparts, "The man has a record of 29 years in the Senate. You can see all of his votes, all of his speeches. It's natural to have differences of opinion, but to call somebody anti-Semitic or an enemy of the people, or not an honest-broker because of differences of opinion? We shouldn't take friends and turn them into enemies. We don't agree with Kerry over everything, but he is a true friend of Israel."
Kerry has received criticism in recent weeks from Israel's hawks for his peace negotiation efforts between Israelis and Palestinians, particularly after his public warning to Israel last week in which he said that the Jewish state will likely face "growing delegitimization" and "boycotts" if the peace negotiations collapsed.
Hardliners, including Benjamin Netanyahu, responded to Kerry's warning with stark remarks, saying that the U.S. diplomats were everything from "offensive" to "[an effort] to amplify [the boycott threat]."
"It is sad to see that the US administration does not understand the reality of the Middle East and exerts pressure on the wrong side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," said Gilad Erdan, the minister for Home Front Defence.
Washington responded to the hawks with a terse remark for Israeli politicians "to get their facts straight [on Kerry's position and comments].
The State Department welcomed Lieberman's comments, despite the tumultuous relationship between the Israeli FM and Washington in the past.