US Secretary of State John Kerry believes Israel could face an economic boycott if the current round of peace negotiations with the Palestinians do not lead to a final deal. Kerry made the remarks on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference.
“There’s an increasing de-legitimization campaign that has been building up. People are very sensitive to it. There are talk of boycotts and other kinds of things, Kerry said, referring to the possible failure of the talks.
Deputy Defense Minister, Danny Danon (Likud), criticized Kerry’s boycott related remarks on Saturday.
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“We respect the [US] secretary of state but we will not negotiate with a gun put to our head,” Danon said.
Danon called Kerry’s words an “ultimatum”, and said that true friends do not set ultimatums.
“We will make decisions that protect Israel’s interests,” Danon added, “If we had made decisions according to every boycott threat, we would not be here today.”
Despite his boycott warning Kerry remained hopeful that the Obama administration’s effort to broker a peace deal between could succeed.
“I’m not going to sit here and give you a measure of optimism, but I will give you a full measure of commitment,” Kerry said.
The United States hopes to complete a “framework” accord in coming weeks and will then try to negotiate a final peace deal by the end of 2014, a US official said this week, according to a participant in a briefing with American Jewish leaders.
“I am hopeful and we will keep working on it,” Kerry, who despite widespread skepticism is leading the US effort to push the two sides toward a deal, said during remarks at the Munich security conference.
“I believe in the possibility or I wouldn’t pursue this,” he said. “I don’t think we’re being quixotic … We’re working hard because the consequences of failure are unacceptable.”
US envoy Martin Indyk said the framework would address core issues in the conflict, including borders, security, refugees and Jewish settlements, a participant in the briefing said.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition, which includes pro-settler parties, has already shown signs of strain over talks on Palestinian statehood.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Kerry-warns-of-boycott-against-Israel-if-peace-deal-not-reached-340052