John Kerry, ‘capitalizing’ on Netanyahu ‘anxiety,’ warns Israel may face increased isolation

( Secretary of State John Kerry, “capitalizing” on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “anxiety” about Israel facing increased isolation, recently warned Netanyahu that the Jewish state might soon face an international delegitimization campaign “on steroids,” columnist Jeffrey Goldberg reported for Bloomberg View.

Secretary of State John Kerry with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in February 2013. The U.S. quietly supported the EU's recent directive to its members to boycott transactions with Israeli communities located beyond the pre-1967 lines. Credit: State Department.

“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,” Goldberg wrote. “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.’”

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.” 

On Monday, reacting to Israel’s announcement of 1,200 new housing units in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, Kerry said the U.S. “views all of the settlements as illegitimate.” But the territories acquired by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, where the Jewish communities referred to by Kerry are situated, are officially considered to be subject to the result of final status negotiations, rather than “illegitimate” at the present time.

Haaretz reported on Wednesday that Helga Schmid, deputy secretary general of the European External Action Service and an aide to European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said the U.S. quietly supported the EU’s recently issued directive to its member states to boycott all transactions with Israeli communities located beyond the pre-1967 lines.

“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 who spoke to Haaretz quoted Schmid as saying. “We’re also receiving tacit support from the American administration.”

Kerry has been behind the U.S. effort to broker renewed Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations, whose latest round began Wednesday in Jerusalem.


Posted on August 14, 2013 .