UPDATE: Psaki has posted the following on Twitter denying that the quote attributed to her is accurate.
FACT CHECK http://t.co/cegIqbjrCF did not do an interview with Al Quds and stated this at briefing and also distorted/fabricated my quote.
— Jen Psaki (@statedeptspox) March 10, 2014
— Mark Jacobs (@mr_markjacobs) March 10, 2014
The story came through Al Quds to INN. The Point quoted an existing news story. The Algeimeiner discusses Psaki’s Tweet further.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Monday said a Palestinian publication recently “distorted” a statement she made last week about Israel’s demand to be recognized as a Jewish state.
The Jerusalem-based paper Al-Quds quoted Psaki as telling one of its reporters during a press briefing on Friday that recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by the Palestinian Authority “is not necessary”, according to The Times of Israel.
Psaki dismissed the claims via Twitter, writing, that the publication “distorted/fabricated my quote,” and that she “did not do an interview with Al Quds.”
Psaki did not do an interview with Al Quds, but she did take a question from its Bureau Chief, Said Arakat.
Original story follows
The State Department is explicitly shooting down an Israeli “must have” for the negotiating framework. That’s an imperative that comes from the top. And that means Obama and Kerry.
Psaki, Obama’s personal leash on Kerry, tries to distinguish between the American position in general and the position in the negotiations, but since Kerry decided to hijack the negotiations so that he can determine the content of the framework, the two are effectively one and the same. Israel is being presented with the Kerry/Obama position.
The United States believes there is no need for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to recognize Israel as a Jewish state as part of a peace agreement, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday.
Psaki, who spoke to the PA-based Arabic-language Al-Quds newspaper, said, “The American position is clear, Israel is a Jewish state. However, we do not see a need that both sides recognize this position as part of the final agreement.”
The PA has already formally refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, stating that “the Arab states will never recognize a Jewish state.” PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas reiterated this position on Friday, when he told young members of his Fatah movement that “there is no way” he would recognize Israel.
Arafat had already accepted Israel as a Jewish State, but the entire Peace Process has been a process in which the Arafat/Abbas side takes things off the table and escalates its demands and in which American diplomats respond by taking their side.
Abbas is less willing to negotiate than Arafat. That’s not surprising considering that Obama is pandering to Abbas and pressuring Israel. The outcome of that is the inevitable sabotage of the negotiations that will occur when Abbas goes so far that not even Netanyahu will give in. And then Israel takes the fall.
Kerry’s attempt at avoiding the crash by effectively negotiating for both sides only makes the process worse because it frees Abbas to continually escalate his demands in order to break up the process. The more he gets, the more he demands and the more Kerry gives in, abandoning each position for another one.
For hypocrisy’s sake, here is Kerry’s 2004 presidential platform on Israel. Read it and have a good laugh.
John Kerry believes that particularly in uncertain times like these we must reaffirm and indeed strengthen our special relationship with Israel, our most steadfast friend and ally in the region. His commitment to a safe, secure, democratic Jewish state of Israel is unwavering.
He recognizes that in any final settlement for Israel to remain a Jewish State, Palestinians must settle in a future Palestinian State rather than in Israel, and that in light of demographic realities, a number of settlement blocks will likely become a part of Israel.
John Kerry believes that Yasser Arafat is a failed leader and unfit partner for peace and therefore has supported his total isolation. He has demanded a new, responsible Palestinian leadership, committed to ending the violence and fighting terror – in word and in deed – and will work tirelessly to ensure that this new leadership emerges.
John Kerry has long advocated moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s indisputable capital. In 1999, he signed a letter taking President Clinton to task for not moving the embassy.
John Kerry understands that a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable. He believes the failure of the Bush Administration to thwart Iran’s efforts to amass nuclear weapons poses a real threat to the safety and security of Israel, the US and the rest of the free world.
Guiding Principles for John Kerry on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:
• As President, John Kerry will never force Israel to make concessions that compromise its security.
• As President, John Kerry would not expect Israel to negotiate without a credible Palestinian partner for peace – something that unfortunately does not exist today.