Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzWounded Ryan faces new battle The mystery of Ivanka Trump Conservatism's worst enemy? The Freedom Caucus. MORE wants Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryCongress, Trump need a united front to face down Iran One year ago today we declared ISIS atrocities as genocide Trump’s realism toward Iran is stabilizing force for Middle East MORE to step down if he does not disavow comments claiming Israelis have some responsibility for the recent rash of violence in their country.
Kerry and his top advisors “have proven themselves utterly unfit for the positions they hold,” the Texas Republican and presidential candidate said in a statement on Thursday evening.
“Mr. Kirby should immediately retract his offensive assertion that Israel is ‘guilty of acts of terror’ or resign,” Cruz said “and Sec. Kerry should immediately disavow these remarks or resign.”
Cruz’s rebuke comes in response to the State Department’s claim this week that Israeli Jewish citizens and leaders bear some responsibility amid an explosive uptick in violence this month.
On Tuesday, Kerry said that the Obama administration condemned “terrorist” stabbings of “innocent Israelis” just as equally as “settler violence” committed by Israelis against Palestinians.
On Wednesday, Kirby called the stabbing of four Arab men by a 17-year-old Israeli in the southern city of Dimona an “act of terrorism.” The stabbing was believed to be a revenge attack following a string of clashes and incidents targeting Israelis.
“I would say certainly individuals on both sides of this divide are — have proven capable of and in our view guilty of acts of terror,” Kirby said.
During the past month, eight Israelis have been killed in attacks across the country, much of them stabbings. Meanwhile, 31 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and stone-throwers, including 14 alleged attackers. The rash of violence has shocked observers and led to fears about a third Intifada, or uprising.
The Obama administration has repeatedly called stabbings of Israeli Jews acts of terror.
Cruz has long been a critic of Kerry and the Obama administration’s position towards Israel.
“The Obama Administration is the most hostile we have seen towards the nation of Israel in our nation’s history,” he said on Thursday. “In the last few days, this obsessive antagonism has been on full display.
“There is no moral equivalence here between the savagery of the Palestinian terrorists and the innocent Israelis they are trying to murder.”
Cruz first called for Kerry to resign last year, after Kerry warned that Israel could turn into an “apartheid state” if it continued on its present course.