Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate confirms four Biden ambassadors after delay Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it MORE wants Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryThe real reason Biden is going to the COP26 climate summit The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Budget negotiators: 72 hours and counting US can lead on climate action by supporting developing countries 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.
Cruz has previously called for Kerry to resign for prior comments on Israel but now is also warning that his top spokesman John KirbyJohn KirbyIran behind drone attack on US base in Syria: report Airlines, industry executives donating 20,000 flights to Afghan evacuees Trump Defense chief blocked idea to send 250,000 troops to border: report MORE should prepare to step down as well.
“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.