July 14, 2024
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Kerry Warns Israel May Face Increased Isolation

(JNS.org)—Secretary of State John Kerry recently warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Jewish state might soon face an international delegitimization campaign, columnist Jeffrey Goldberg reported for Bloomberg View.

Secretary of State John Kerry  also said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been “completely upfront with me and with [Palestinian Authority] President Abbas” regarding a recent announcement that Israel plans to build new homes beyond the Jewish state’s 1948 borders. Kerry conveyed Netanyahu’s clarification that the building would be happening “within the so-called blocs” that are widely expected to end up controlled by Israel under any realistic final status agreement, and that they would “not have any impact on the capacity to have a peace agreement.”

Palestinian diplomats had publicly expressed surprise at the announcement and explicitly suggested that it could derail peace talks. Kerry brushed aside suggestions that the new construction should derail negotiations, and emphasized that “if you resolve the borders of Israel—and you can only do that also resolving the security issues for Israel—you have resolved any questions about settlements, because then you know what is in Israel and what is not.”

But Kerry holds a trump card.

Kerry, according to anonymous sources cited by Goldberg, believes “the one thing Netanyahu fears as much as Iran’s nuclear program is the growing power of the international movement that seeks to isolate, scapegoat and demonize his country.” Goldberg wrote, “There are some early signs that Netanyahu is realizing the price his country may one day pay for its settlements, in particular those near Palestinian population centers… He met recently with some of Israel’s leading manufacturers, who expressed their worry that their products may one day be boycotted in Europe, a worry he shares. Kerry, capitalizing on this anxiety, has warned Netanyahu in recent weeks that if the current peace talks bear no fruit, Israel may soon be facing an international delegitimization campaign—in his words—‘on steroids.’”

Ha’aretz reported the U.S. quietly supported the EU’s recently issued directive. “You should know that we received support for the new guidelines on the settlements from all the European Union’s member states,” an anonymous official told Ha’aretz and added that his superiors said, “We’re also receiving tacit support from the American administration.”

 

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