“When a Secretary of State talks about starting a third Intifada, especially amid rising violence, it could have the effect, directly or indirectly of lighting the fuse,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, responding to Kerry’s remarks, in an interview with The Algemeiner.
“The danger here is that you legitimate an escalation by saying that ‘because there is no progress it can start an Intifada.’ There are elements there that will use this to legitimize what they are doing,” Hoenlein said. “We had a situation in the past where comments by American leaders and others set the standard for what Palestinian leaders say and do.”
ADL president Abe Foxman uncharacteristically blasted Kerry.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said Sunday morning that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s “outrageous behavior” will unite American Jews.
“I think Kerry’s outrageous behavior will unite the American Jewish community,” Foxman said. “It is chutzpah to lecture Israel about the risks of peace and war.”
He described the current tensions between the allies as a “crisis of trust,” explaining that they had each agreed recently “not to surprise each other,” yet Netanyahu had found out from other diplomats what had been going on in Geneva, and “not directly, as was promised.”
Last month, Foxman criticized American leadership and resolve in the global arena, saying the world increasingly sees a “weak and retreating” United States that “cannot be counted on.”
Speaking at the ADL’s Centennial conference in New York, Foxman expressed apprehension that the U.S. is undergoing a “deep and dangerous change” that would endanger both Israel’s security and the wellbeing of the American Jewish community. “It causes me to lose sleep,” he said.
There wasn’t much welcome for Kerry’s threats to Israel and appeasement of Iran from Bnai Brith or the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
“The Secretary introduced views that can only complicate the process. It would be more productive to exhort the parties to work toward compromise, rather than speculating on worst-case scenarios,” said Daniel Mariaschin, B’nai B’rith International executive vice president.
Abraham Cooper, associate dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, asked: “Why would the Palestinians negotiate on anything when the secretary of state calls settlements ‘illegal’, when he says Israeli troops have to leave West Bank, when he increases aid to the PA when their corruption infuriates the Palestinian street, and seems to make no demands for Palestinians to once and for all stop the attacks on their neighbor’s legitimacy?”