John Kerry Grimly Warns Israel of Palestinian Unrest and Isolation If Peace Talks Fail

'Does Anyone Want a Third Intifada?

getty images

By Reuters

Published November 07, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Secretary of State John Kerry warned Israel on Thursday that it could face a third Palestinian uprising and deepening international isolation if American-brokered peace negotiations failed.

Both Israel and the Palestinians have given grim assessments of the lack of progress in their talks, which the United States helped revive last July after a three-year hiatus.

Kerry, speaking in Jordan a day after a visit to Israel, where he appealed for limits on its settlement building in the occupied West Bank, reported the negotiations had made “significant progress” in some areas.

He said it was important to keep aiming towards a full “final status” accord tackling issues at the core of the decades-old conflict, in contrast with more modest interim deals plagued by diplomatic deadlock and years of violence.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 television recorded in Jerusalem before he left for Amman, Kerry painted a bleak picture of what might lie ahead if peace is not achieved.

“I mean, does Israel want a third Intifada?” he asked, referring to the danger of a new Palestinian uprising to follow those that erupted in 1987 and 2000.

“If we do not find the way to find peace, there will be an increasing isolation of Israel, there will be an increasing campaign of delegitimisation of Israel that has been taking place on an international basis.”

MORE TALKS

Kerry was due to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman later on Thursday before returning to Jerusalem for more talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday.

“Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas reaffirmed their commitment to these negotiations despite the fact that at moments there are obviously tensions,” Kerry said.

Friction over the talks has risen in the last week because of Israeli plans, announced in tandem with its release of 26 Palestinian prisoners, for some 3,500 new homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Palestinians have warned of a crisis if Israel continues to insist that they effectively agreed to turn a blind eye to the settlement expansion, in exchange for the progressive release of 104 long-serving inmates.

After meeting Abbas on Wednesday in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Kerry said Palestinians had never condoned settlements, which they and many countries view as illegal and the United States terms illegitimate.

Palestinians fear the enclaves, built on land Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and which they seek for a future state, will deny them a viable country. Israel cites biblical and historical links to the territory.

Kerry, whose shuttle diplomacy helped to revive the talks, has set a nine-month schedule for an agreement, despite widespread scepticism.

“I remain absolutely committed to this ability to get a final status (agreement),” Kerry said at a news conference in Amman, repeatedly warning of “prolonged, continued conflict”, violence and confrontation if the talks failed.

Few details have emerged from the negotiations, held at unannounced times and at secret locations in line with pledges to keep a lid on leaks.

Abbas, in a speech on Monday, said that despite all the meetings nothing had changed on the ground. Netanyahu echoed his gloomy verdict on Wednesday, saying little progress had been made.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.