Netanyahu Slams Kerry for Comment on Israeli Boycotts

Failed Peace Talks Could Lead To More Boycotts, Says Kerry

getty images

By JTA

Published February 02, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed John Kerry for his warning that Israel would face more international boycotts if the peace process fails.

“Attempts to impose a boycott on the State of Israel are immoral and unjust. Moreover, they will not achieve their goal,” Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

He was responding to the U .S. secretary of state’s remarks the previous day at the Munich Security Conference. Saying that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot continue because it is “not sustainable,” Kerry continued: “You see for Israel there is an increasing delegitimization campaign that has been building up. People are very sensitive to it; there is talk of boycott and other kinds of things. Are we all going to be better with all of that?”

In his response, Netanyahu also said that boycotts push the peace process further away by causing the Palestinians “to adhere to their intransigent positions,” and that “no pressure will cause me to concede the vital interests of the State of Israel, especially the security of Israel’s citizens.”

Kerry’s comments to reporters in Munich also were slammed by other Israeli government officials.

“You can’t force the State of Israel to negotiate with a gun to our heads while we are discussing the most critical of our national security interests,” Minister of Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz said.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, whose remarks on the peace process last week almost led to a government coalition crisis, also criticized Kerry, saying that Israel ”expect(s) our friends around the world to stand beside us, against anti-Semitic boycott efforts targeting Israel, and not for them to be their amplifier.”

“Friends, let us be clear to all of the advice givers: Never has a nation abandoned their land because of economic threats. We are no different,” Bennett said.

Kerry said that “for Israel, the stakes are also enormously high” if the peace process fails, alluding to possible violence as “a response from disappointed Palestinians and the Arab community.”

He said that he would continue to press for a peace agreement because “I believe in the possibility or I wouldn’t pursue this.” He added that “the consequences of failure are unacceptable.”

In recent days a state-run pension fund in Norway has divested from Israeli companies.


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!
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • How do you make people laugh when they're fighting on the front lines or ducking bombs?
  • "Hamas and others have dredged up passages form the Quran that demonize Jews horribly. Some imams rail about international Jewish conspiracies. But they’d have a much smaller audience for their ravings if Israel could find a way to lower the flames in the conflict." Do you agree with J.J. Goldberg?
  • 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.