11/6/13. Kerry: US Sees Jewish Judea and Samaria as ‘Illegitimate’. Tova Dvorin and Ari Soffer, israelnationalnews.com
“US Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed after meetings with Palestinian Arab representatives in Bethlehem today (Wednesday) that the US stance on Jewish life in Judea and Samaria is condemnation, AFP reports.
“We consider now, and have always considered, the settlements to be illegitimate,” Kerry said, after Mahmoud Abbas reportedly walked out of Tuesday’s talks over Israel’s statements supporting a new initiative to build more than 3,500 new Jewish homes in the region.
Regarding the fact that Israel has kept up its side of a deal which exchanged the buildings for the controversial release of 26 Arab terrorists back into civilian areas, Kerry claims that “at no time did the Palestinians in any way agree, as a matter of going back to the talks, that they could somehow condone or accept” Jewish building efforts in Judea and Samaria.
Kerry did throw Israel a bone by responding that the US was “aware” of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s plan for renewed construction efforts.
Kerry’s remarks follow a tumultuous week between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, during which the released terrorists received a hero’s welcome and threats of a third intifada were launched. Such a striking statement is unlikely to encourage an already skeptical Israeli public to support ongoing US-brokered talks.
Many Israelis have long suspected the Obama administration of sympathizing with the PA position, and concerns were raised at the very start of the latest round of talks over the controversial appointment of Martin Indyk as mediator in the talks. A number of Israeli groups have claimed his work with the far-left New Israel Fund rules Indyk out as an “honest broker” between the sides.
The confirmation also follows reports that the US President made derogatory remarks toward Israel, and toward Binyamin Netanyahu in particular, during discussions about the conflict in 2012.
The US may possibly have vested interests in the talks’ success, as Obama has allegedly offered Israel support in efforts to stop a nuclear Iran in the event of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The Prime Minister’s office has not yet released a statement responding to the US condemnation, nor how it will affect future talks. ”
11/6/13. Report: Kerry threatening Israel with sanctions. Aaron Klein, wnd.com
“Is Secretary of State John Kerry using the threat of tougher European Union sanctions on Israel to press Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into land concessions with the Palestinians?
Kerry is in the Israel in an effort to advance negotiations between the Jewish state and the Palestinian Authority.
Last August, WND was first to report the Obama administration is working behind the scenes in tandem with the EU’s boycott of Israeli settlements, tying the seriousness of the EU’s future ban to Israel’s actions during current U.S.-brokered talks with the Palestinians, according to a senior Palestinian negotiator.
The negotiator claimed at the time that if Israel does not collaborate with the current round of Palestinian talks being brokered by Kerry, the EU financial sanctions could become tougher.
The threat has been communicated to Israeli officials, according to the Palestinian negotiator.
Now Israel’s largest newspaper, Yedioth Aharonot, has reported that Kerry is using the EU sanctions to blackmail Israel into complying with talks aimed at creating a Palestinian state that would include the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
The newspaper claimed that Kerry “told the prime minister that he heard from his European friends … that if the negotiations fail, Israel can forget about participating in the European research and development program ‘Horizon 2020.’
“And that will only be the beginning. … More and far weightier actions to boycott Israel will follow. They are already being prepared. This will cause incalculable damage to the Israeli economy.”
In July, the EU published guidelines that deny EU funds in the form of grants, prizes and financial instruments from going toward any Jewish entities in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights or eastern Jerusalem.
The guidelines, slated to go into effect in January, further require any future Israeli-EU financial agreements to include a clause stipulating that the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are not actually part of Israel.
A senior Palestinian negotiator helping to lead the current Israeli-Palestinian talks told WND in August that the EU guidelines were published in full coordination with Kerry.
The negotiator further claimed that if Israel fails to cooperate with Palestinian talks being brokered by Kerry, the EU financial sanctions could become tougher.
Possible further boycotts being considered, the negotiator stated, include an official statement from EU that settlements are illegal; a full financial boycott; and sanctions on all trade, universities and Jewish entities in the settlements.
Another possibility is an EU dictate requiring special visas for settlers.
On the other hand, if Israel goes along with Kerry’s peace plan, the EU will reconsider its current and future settlement boycott, the Palestinian negotiator stated.”