White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice strongly criticized Israel Monday night for attacking John Kerry, after he warned failed peace could lead to a boycott of Israel by other countries.
Rice posted her defense of Kerry in a series of tweets.
Personal attacks in Israel directed at Sec Kerry totally unfounded and unacceptable.— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) February 4, 2014
During a security conference in Munich, Kerry raised the idea that Israel could face a boycott from foreign governments if it didn’t strike a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
"… You see for Israel there’s an increasing de-legitimization campaign that has been building up," Kerry said. "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?"
Naftali Bennnett, Israel’s economy minister, accused Kerry of promoting efforts he deemed anti-Semitic.
“We expect our friends in the world to stand by our side against anti-Semitic boycott efforts against Israel, and not be their trumpet,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
The State Department defended Kerry in a statement Sunday, explaining that he has a “proud record of over three decades of steadfast support for Israel’s security and well-being” and Kerry has “always opposed” the boycott he was referring to. Rice also tweeted Kerry’s record is clear.
John Kerry’s record of support for Israel’s security and prosperity rock solid.— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) February 4, 2014
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Kerry’s remarks on Sunday, but told his colleagues in the Likud Party not to make personal attacks against Kerry.
POTUS and Sec Kerry remain committed to negotiations that can secure Israeli and Palestinian futures.— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) February 4, 2014
Kerry has been working with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators since last summer to arrange a final peace agreement by the end of April.
The United States and the European Union, among others, have warned Israel that failed negotiations could lead to boycotts of Israel by foreign governments. The U.S. has been clear it rejects those efforts, Rice tweeted.
U.S. Govt has been clear and consistent that we reject efforts to boycott or delegitimize Israel— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) February 4, 2014