WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel’s envoy to Washington rejected a charge by Israel’s deputy defense minister that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was attempting to “scare” Israelis into a peace deal.
“Deputy Minister Danny Danon’s views of Secretary Kerry do not reflect the views of the Government of Israel,” Ambassador Ron Dermer said in a statement Thursday.
“Israel deeply appreciates Secretary Kerry’s efforts to advance peace with the Palestinians,” the statement said. “We do not believe that Secretary Kerry has tried to threaten Israel, and we believe that his decades of support for Israel reflect an abiding commitment to Israel’s security and its future.”
In an op-ed in Politico this week, Danon said Kerry’s claim last weekend that failure to reach a peace deal could lead Israel into becoming an apartheid state was part of a pattern in which Kerry tries “to scare the Israeli public into capitulation.”
Kerry, who made the apartheid comment in a private meeting of Western leaders, spoke in the days after the collapse of peace talks he had launched nine months ago. He later said his use of the word “apartheid” was inappropriate.