Kerry under fire for linking boycotts of Israel to negotiations with Palestinians

( U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was criticized for saying Israel would face more boycotts if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations he is brokering fail.

“You see, for Israel, there’s an increasing delegitimization campaign that has been building up. People are very sensitive to it. There is talk of boycotts and other kinds of things. Are we all going to be better with all of that?” Kerry said Saturday at the annual Munich Security Conference

“Today’s status quo absolutely, to a certainty, I promise you 100 percent, cannot be maintained,” he said. “It’s not sustainable. It’s illusionary. There’s a momentary prosperity, there’s a momentary peace. … But the fact is the status quo will change if there is failure. So everybody has a stake in trying to find the pathway to success.”

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz called Kerry’s words “intolerable” and said Israel “would not negotiate with a gun to our heads.” Housing Minister Uri Ariel said, “The only illusions are the peace slogans Kerry is trying to pawn off on Israel. The Palestinians cannot believe their good fortune, ending up with such an ‘impartial’ mediator.”

“Kerry’s threats of an unprecedented boycott are an attempt to terrorize Israel into agreeing to a dangerous deal,” said Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely. “A deal that would pose a security risk to Israel is worse than any boycott.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Attempts to impose a boycott on the State of Israel are immoral and unjust. Moreover, they will not achieve their goal.”

Posted on February 2, 2014 .