Peres breaks with Israeli hardliner slamming, thanks Kerry for Mideast peace efforts
Israeli President Shimon Peres thanked Kerry for his Mideast peace efforts Tuesday after Israeli hardliners slammed the U.S. diplomat for warning the Jewish state that it is likely to face growing boycotts if peace talks collapse (File Archive)
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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.