Peres breaks with Israeli hardliner slamming, thanks Kerry for Mideast peace efforts
In a break with his other government official counterparts, Israeli President Shimon Peres lauded U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for his peace efforts after hardline representatives "attacked" Kerry for his warning to Tel Aviv on growing boycotts against the Jewish State, according to AFP Tuesday.
“We thank [Kerry] for his efforts. We encourage him and hope to soon achieve positive results,” Peres commented on a military radio broadcast, following two days of "verbal attacks" against the U.S. representative from Israeli ministers.
After Kerry's warning to Israel Saturday that the Jewish state is "facing a growing campaign of delegitimization which would worsen if peace talks collapsed," cabinet ministers responded to Kerry's comments as "offensive, unfair and intolerable," with some also adding that Washington "was not doing enough to counter 'anti-Semitic boycott attempts.'"
Washington has also responded to such commentary from Tel Aviv, with U.S. President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice describing the ministers' statements as “Personal attacks [that are] totally unfounded and unacceptable.”
This is not the first time that Kerry has faced such staunch criticism from Israeli hardliners. Last month, Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon described Kerry as having a "messianic obsession" with achieving peace in the Middle East.
The latest banter has added another layer of tension to growing estrangement between the longtime allies.
- Lieberman on Kerry: "We shouldn't take friends and turn them into enemies"
- Kerry reaffirms U.S. support of Israeli security, says peace with Palestine will "make Israel stronger"
- Kerry "will not be intimidated" by Israeli threats over boycott comments
- Israeli minister slams John Kerry over boycott warning
- Israeli defense minister apologizes to Kerry over rant